Benefits of Flaxseed Oil Capsules

Flaxseed oil capsules are a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike animal sources of this nutrient, however, flaxseed oil contains a type omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid. Your body must first convert ALA into eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DPA. These two omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in fish oil. Although it is not known if flaxseed oil is as beneficial as fish oil, you can still get a healthy dose of omega-3s by supplementing your diet with flaxseed oil capsules.

A bowl of flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and flaxseed oil capsules on a cutting board. (Image: Lecic/iStock/Getty Images)

Convenience of Capsules

Flaxseed oil is pressed from flaxseeds. The capsule form conceals the oily taste and makes it easy to swallow. Unlike whole flaxseeds, flaxseed oil capsules do not contain soluble fiber and phytoestrogens -- plant estrogens. They do give you a concentrated dose of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, however.

ALA Benefits

A 2008 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reports that consuming ALA supplements over 12 weeks raises the levels of DHA and EPA in the bloodstream. The resulting increase of omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of chronic conditions such as arthritis and heart disease. But you need a much larger dose of flaxseed oil to get the same benefits of a smaller amount of fish oil. More recently, "Critical Reviews in Food Science and Literature" noted that only minimal amounts of ALA are converted into EPA and DHA. Consult your doctor to determine whether ALA is the best type of omega-3 fatty acid for you.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.