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Which is better, flax seed or hemp seed? Or a combination of the two?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 16, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Hi. I am thinking of introducing one of either hemp or flax seed to increase my intake of omega 3. But I am concerned about the balance - apparently flax has an omega 6 / 3 ratio of 1 / 4, while hemp has a ratio of 4 - 1. So, if I mix the two and grind them, would it come out at a ratio of 1/1?

Also, I read that it isn't true Omega 3 but a precursor. I eat a fair amount of fish, so is adding either hemp or flax a good move? What could be the benefits?

Thanks.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 22, 2011
at 01:12 AM

he basically says you're wasting your time with plant-based sources.

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6 Answers

6
84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:09 PM

Mark did it again:

Flaxseed (link):

"Flax seed is rich in a form of omega-3 fatty acids called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)"

"Research has shown that young women convert 21% of ALA to EPA (compared to 8% in men) and 9% to DHA (compared to 0-4% in men)."

Hemp (link)

"The omega-3 is also in the form of ALA rather than the preferred DHA and EPA."

If you are eating enough/some fish I wouldn't add any additional omega 3 supplements, especially since in this case, it's mostly ALA.

Also it's not just the ratio but also about absolute amounts. 1:1 might not be as beneficial with really high polyunsatured intake.

5
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:36 PM

You do not want to eat flaxseed. Fish Oil or Krill Oil are both better choices.

1
103ba94beade13845c3c70152ae3cd3d

on August 21, 2011
at 06:42 PM

These days our diets tend to give us much more Omega 6 than we need and not enough Omega 3.

It is true that fish is the best source of Omega 3 - salmon, herring, sardines particularly. Flaxseed is excellent for the ALA Omega 3 content and also lignan. ALA is required by the body as well as the longer chain EPA and DHA Omega 3. Some of the ALA will be converted by the body into EPA and DHA.

It is very fashionable to take Fish oil and Krill oil for your Omega 3 but it is a good idea to question where this oil comes from. Fish eat krill which in turn have eaten plankton which consume algae. The algae produces the ALA and the krill and fish convert it to EPA and DHA - far better then to actually eat the fish for all round good health.

Of course, if one is a vegetarian or doesn't like fish a good alternative is flaxseed.

Read http://www.courtofthesilverking.co.uk/alternatives.html for more information.

Although one can have oil which appears to be the 'ideal' balance of Omega 3 and 6, in reality since your diet is almost certainly giving you ample Omega 6 and not enough 3, it seems a waste of time having a 'neutral' balance unless it is replacing an oil which is high in Omega 6, or saturated fat.

I don't know much about hemp but I believe it contains more saturated fat than flax does.

0
E70adcceef348b39fc7fed00f2c802cb

on March 24, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Throughly beat 200g simple cheese like cottage or fromage frais with 80ml of organic flax seed oil for better absoption of the oil into the cells of the body

0
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 21, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I listened to this the other day and found it informative: http://thehealthyskeptic.org/podcast-episode-ii-essential-fatty-acids-fish-and-fish-oil

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 22, 2011
at 01:12 AM

he basically says you're wasting your time with plant-based sources.

0
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Just gring the flax - If the hemp seeds are shelled already do not ground them more. Mixed ground flax with hemp seeds is tasty if spread lightly over omelets, eggs, or sardines.

Hemp seeds are great for your skin/ Not sure why/

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