By the way, doctor: Which is better, flaxseed or fish oil?

Published: June, 2008

Q. For the healthy omega-3 fats we hear so much about, which is better — ground flaxseed or fish oil capsules?

A. Fish in the diet is generally preferred, but both sources you mention are also good for you. Studies have found an association between omega-3 fatty acids and a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. There are several possible reasons for this. Omega-3s lessen the heart's susceptibility to arrhythmias, lower blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels, cut the risk of blood clots, help lower blood pressure, and slow the progression of atherosclerotic plaques.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »