test-Fish Oil vs. Flax or Chia (regarding ALA, EPA and DHA)
Fish Oil vs. Flax or Chia (regarding ALA, EPA and DHA)
Vitamins and Supplements FAQs • October 17, 2011

Question: In reference to your October 6 post, "Do Flax and Fish Oils Provide the Same Omega-3s" I understand and accept your answer. However, I thought that generally it is thought that conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is inefficient regardless of the state of the liver. Are you saying that for a person with a healthy liver flax seed -- and other ALA sources, such as Chia -- are as good as fish oil because they are converted to EPA and DHA?

Thank you for the follow up question to a previous Swanson Health Blog post (and Tweet). In general, we would lean towards favoring a high-quality fish oil supplement over other EFA supplements unless you are a vegan or a vegetarian. The conversion you mentioned of ALA ( alpha-linolenic acid) to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a relatively small (inefficient) percentage of around 5% ALA into EPA/DHA. A great option would be a multi-omega supplement like the one pictured, which delivers fatty acid nutrition from fish oil, borage oil and flax oil.