Are flax-oil products good substitutes for DHA?
Flax oil is an excellent source of ALA (alpha linolenic acid), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Under the best conditions, the body can covert ALA into EPA and subsequently into DHA. Enzymes are needed for the conversion, and sometimes these enzymes are not as efficient as they can be. In fact, we have considered how certain people simply lack the enzymes needed for making DHA, and for them, DHA becomes essential. We also considered evidence that very little EPA was converted into DHA, and that actually, the reverse process, retroconversion of DHA into EPA, often dominated. For these reasons, it makes sense to take already formed DHA from fish, and not ALA from flax. Perhaps flax oil holds other benefits which make it a good supplement, but if your goal is to get DHA, the most efficient way is to take DHA itself.
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