Difference Between Ground Flaxseed and Fish Oil

Updated on March 21, 2011
M.H. asks from Flower Mound, TX
9 answers

They both have omega-3's (at least the kind of ground flaxseed I buy does), so wouldn't it be better to take the ground flaxseed, since some fish oil contains Mercury? Has anyone heard of Coromega fish oil? My friend said it is wonderful and doesn't have any mercury (it is in a liquid form and she gives it to her kids). Also, what kind of fish oil/omega 3's do you give to your kids (and to yourselves)? Thank you!

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answers from Dallas on

I prefer ground flaxseed, partly because it's vegetarian, and partly because it's so easy to use. I can put it in baked goods, on cereal, in a smoothie, and my child never knows it is there. She always knew when I put fish oil in something, and I thought it tasted pretty good (it was raspberry flavored).

On a "save the planet" tangent, the fish oil capsules result from some severe overfishing that is removing fish from the food chain, and the overfishing could lead to long-term problems. I'm not a hippy-dippy type (well, other than being mostly vegan and that is for my own health, not for the animals' welfare), but that alarms me. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,###-###-...

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answers from Dallas on

first of all there are different kinds of Omegas... both Flax and Fish have different amounts of the different types of Omegas.

here is a link that may help answer some of your questions


hope that helps,

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answers from Dallas on

Omega-3's are found in both sources, but as one mom said, it does take a lot for the body to convert the flaxseed to a form that the body can use. I also heard that you can put flaxseed in baked goods and such, but heating the ground flaxseed above 400 degrees destroys the omegas. I prefer giving my kiddos Standard Process Chewable Tuna Omega. I've been using their products and recommending them to all my patients for years. They can only be bought through professionals (can't get at GNC), and are free of any mercury.
Just a word of caution, if you take an Omega and you taste fish, it's rancid and should be thrown away. Omega's go rancid very easily and should never be left out in the car or in a sunny area (even light can destroy it). Standard Process keeps them in an amber bottle and even the capsule is amber as to not let in any light.

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answers from Topeka on

I would talk to your pharmacist or a professional at a health food store...I would think you would have to eat a LOT of ground flaxseed to get as much Omega 3 as you get in Fish Oil...but I am not famliar with it so I can't speak authoritatively on it. This article that I found ... http://www.omega3oils.info/fishoilsupplements/fishoilsupp...
states that fish oil capsules do NOT contain mercury...so I would think that it would be fine for you and your children to take.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I think fish oil is questionable in its actual benefits, it spoils easily and causes acid reflux if not high quality, and the high quality stuff is hard to keep buying because its very expensive. Flax seed meal is very absorbing and can be snuck into anything, baked goods, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, soup, dips.....smoothies.

When i weigh my options, i just keep some flax seed meal in a cleaned out parmesan bottle,keep it in the fridge i shake it on lots of stuff

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answers from Dallas on

I take OmegaGuard from Shaklee and my kids take the chewable Mighty Smart...taste like orange. Shaklee spends millions every year testing their products to make sure they do not have any pollutants in them and that they are actually absorbed and used by the body.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think fish oil has a higher concentration of omega-3, but many want a vegetarian source and thats why they prefer flax seed. There may be something to the mercury, I've heard experts recommend one or the other for various reasons, there isn't a clear cut choice amongst experts.



answers from Portland on

Fish oil (and the more concentrated krill oil) contain forms of Omega 3's most readily available for our body's use: DHA and EPA. The forms available in plant sources need to be converted, and the body may do that ineffeciently, depending on how many other fats are also awaiting conversion/digestion.

My daughter researched this carefully, and found that Carlson Fish Oil is relatively free of mercury, and it's flavored with lemon to make taking it easy (my grandson really likes it). Krill oil is also lacking in mercury; it's low on the food chain and harvested near Antarctica in relatively clean water. Also tends not to give fishy burps.

Plants are still a great source of omega 3's for conversion, though, and they also provide other beneficial factors like fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. A good diet contains a wide variety of natural foods.


answers from Kansas City on

i have next to zero experience in this - except that the fish oil i bought made my burps taste like fish for hours. GROOOSS. i would consult a professional or a website you trust.

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