The sources of omega-3 fats that we are typically encouraged to consume, like flax, are not easily processed by by our body, especially if one has any thyroid issues. And the animal sources are a lot closer to the end-product our body would turn them into, and therefore a "better" source.

Various plants like flax and walnuts and such have omega-3 precursors, they still need conversion before they become EPA or DHA, and those are the ones our bodies need, and that conversion doesn't happen well in many people. Studies I've skimmed seem to show that ingesting the precursors doesn't increase or barely increase circulating EPA or DHA.

Quote:
"The conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to EPA and DHA involves a series of chemical reactions. One of the first reactions in this series is catalyzed by the enzyme delta-6 desaturase. Further down the line is a reaction that is catalyzed by the enzyme delta-5 desaturase. Unfortunately, it is now well-known that these enzymes do not function optimally in many people, and, consequently, only a small amount of the alpha-linolenic acid consumed in the diet is converted to EPA, DHA, and ultimately to the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. "

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84

Flax seed oil contains 8 grams (8000 mg) of ALA per tablespoon.
Flax seed oil contains an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is one of two fatty acids that the body needs and cannot make for itself. Several other sources of ALA do exist, most notably walnuts and hemp seed. Omega-3s are needed by every cell in the body. Among other things, an ample supply helps ensure that cell membranes stay flexible so that cells can get nutrients easily.
http://www.supplementquality.com/efficacy/fishoil_flaxoil.html


Humans have a limited ability to convert ALA to DHA: Less than 1 percent of it is turned into DHA (although women convert it better than men do). Western diets limit their ability to convert it even more because they eat too many omega-6 fats from corn and soybean oils (Americans average 18 grams a day of omega-6 fat from these oils).


The trouble is that these omega-6 fatty acids compete with ALA for conversion. So, for instance, if a person consumed an ounce of walnuts per day, they'd get approximately 2,500 mg of ALA. But it would, at best, convert to just 25 mg of DHA, a small fraction of the DHA necessary (600 mg) for optimal health.

Fish oil contains large amounts of EPA and DHA which are often recommended for speech, attention, emotion regulation, etc. Flax oil has ALA and that needs to be converted to EPA and DHA by the body. That's fine if your body can convert it and you aren't eating anything that blocks that conversion, but often the reasons why people are taking supplements in the first place is because their bodies aren't performing these conversions so readily. For what it is worth, my vegetarian friend tried vegetarian alternatives like flax first. They did nothing but they saw dramatic changes on fish oil in less than 48 hours.

My understanding is that vit D is in the original cod liver oil source. However the refining and deodorizing manufacturing process removes most of the vit. D and vit. A. Some companies add a synthetic version back into the CLO. The fermented CLO, apparently develops additional Vit. D and other micronutients and vitamins naturally.

If a CLO lists vitamins as "Ingredients" on their label, they have ADDED ingredients, including (synthetic) Vitamins A, D. Which indicates that the vitamins have been processed out of them, probably during the deodorizing process. (they wouldn't list the vitamins as ingredients, if they were not ADDED to the product)

Blue Ice fermented CLO or Blue Ice HVCLO are generally advocated around here. http://www.greenpasture.org/products

Here is more about fermented CLO.
http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/10/fermented-cod-liver-oil-serie...

For a less expensive "good" CLO, we'd use:

* Carlson's soft gel Cod Liver Oil 1,000 mg capsules
* NOW double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
* Sonne's Cod Liver Oil
* Twin Labs Cod Liver Oil

http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/238.html

Pat RobinsonWellness Educator

 

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