New Source of Omega-3?

I used to get my omega-3 from flaxseed oil. Then I encountered problems with the flaxseed oil going bad, in the sense of losing potency. (It did not smell bad.) I switched to flax seeds, which I grind and eat with yogurt. This is more difficult than drinking flaxseed oil.

From Peter Spero I have learned of a possible new source of omega-3: camelina oil. Camelina oil, unlike flaxseed oil, contains high levels of anti-oxidants, which protect it from going bad. Camelina is cheap to grow and can be grown where other crops cannot.

18 Replies to “New Source of Omega-3?”

  1. Have you looked into macadamia nuts and chia seeds as sources? Have you looked into the issues converting vegetable sources of n-3 into human-usable sources? Why do you prefer vegetable sources?

    (I eat macadamia nuts and fatty fish regularly, as well as pastured meats. I no longer feel it necessary to supplement; I was craving n-3s early on in my dietary experiment.)

    1. Why do I prefer vegetable sources? Because fish oil gave me a headache. I have nothing against other sources but the vegetable sources have had clear benefits: better balance, better gums, better arithmetic speed, etc. So if those “issues” are about low convertability, the statements are wrong in my case. Plenty of short chain omega-3 is converted to long-chain omega-3.

      By getting a large amount of omega-3 from flax seeds I can more easily vary the dosage and thereby find out the best dose. I have never — before or after I started consuming lots of flaxseed oil or flax seed — found myself craving omega-3. I don’t know what that feels like.

  2. Why not something like this?

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/asc/sea.html

    It contains a high EPA/DHA amount per dose and it comes with green tea extract added, presumably to stave off oxidation. The only problem I could foresee is that the fish oil could go bad, and given that it has a lemon scent/taste, it could be difficult to detect whether or not you are imbibing rancid fish oil.

  3. Seth, I wonder whether a burr grinder would work with flaxseed. I have a Capresso Infinity which I use for coffee. The advantage would be you could just leave a bunch of seed in the hopper, and calibrate the timer so that you could dial the amount you want without having to measure out anything.

    1. Peter, it is easy to measure out 33 g of flax seeds. It is sort of fun: I see how many iterations it takes, sort of like strokes in golf. Now I can usually hit 33 g with 3 iterations or less.

  4. I’d look into shiso (aka perilla) oil as well. It has about the same omega 3 content as flax seed oil with less odor…it’s easy to find in Japan so it might be easier to get in China than good flax seed oil.

  5. I have seen plans for simple oil presses for home use. Perhaps you could develop a micro-oil press to press the flax seeds when you want oil. I don’t know, maybe it would be to involved.

  6. Seth,

    What are your thoughts on the estrogen content of flax?

    I remember reading that flax is about three times higher in estrogen than soy. This is the main reason I have been supplementing with fish oil while consuming mostly ruminant meat.

  7. I soak and rinse flax seeds for a couple of days, then grind them up, then mix in some flour, then cook them into pancakes. It is a lot of work, but I think I get a better result – my blood pressure has dropped, and I run without my knees complaining.

  8. I finally looked up the Omega-III content for both. Flaxseed seems to be nearly 1.5 as dense as ALA as chia; I’m impressed.

    I’ll still take chia, though, even considering how much it costs (five times as much) because I like taking chia. Taking flaxseed is much less convenient for my habits. Flaxseed and flaxseed meal doesn’t mix well with the kind of foods I like eating and can eat. I’d love to mix it with yogurt like Seth does but food allergies stop me. Despite my present very large fermented food intake, cow’s milk derivatives, including homemade yogurt and kefir, still trigger my food allergies and cause me to get sick a few days later (ear infections, cold, flu, etc.) It’s amusing that consuming milk products is pretty much the *only* thing that can get me sick these days, thanks to homemade kimchi and kombucha.

  9. “Flaxseed and flaxseed meal doesn’t mix well with the kind of foods I like eating and can eat.”

    You can just add some water to ground flaxseed, which makes it into something like oatmeal. Then, you can add whatever you want to that for flavouring (applesauce, cinnamon, blueberry sauce, and so on).

  10. Based on this suggestion, I ordered camelina oil from the good farmers in Saskatchewan and began taking it using the same dose (3T/day) that I had been taking of flaxseed oil for relief of psoriasis and lichen planus. Unfortunately, the slow but sure improvement I had been experiencing over the past year with flaxseed oil stopped immediately and after a week my skin and mouth began to deteriorate. After using about 1/4 of a bottle of the new oil I went back to flaxseed and am delighted to report that I am now having good results with it. Since both of my conditions wax and wane without any reason identified by medical science I cannot state that it was simply the flaxseed oil that has led to this success. Based on my experience, however, I intend to continue taking the oil regularly and I recommend that others with either psoraisis or lichen planus try it. For me, two tablespoons a day were not enough, I needed three tablespoons of the oil to see a change. I don’t think it advisable to take capsules, you’d need to take too many of them to equal 3T of oil.

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