Is Fish Oil An Omega 3 Fatty Acid -What Is The Difference?

Probably, you must have known the amazing benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids to the human body. To  refresh your memory, here is an article I wrote some times back about the benefits of taking Omega 3 fish oil


Now, lots of people seem to have a little confusion when Omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil are mentioned and constantly  I get this question thrown to me what the difference is between omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil and I decided to creat a short article to address it.

SO, is fish oil an omega 3 fatty acid? what really is the difference between omega 3 and fish oil? Is there really a different or they are one and same?


Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids contains three essentail polyunsaturated type of fats. They are ALA(alpha-linolenic acid), EPA(eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA( docosahexaenoic acid).

Both EPA and DHA are  gotten directly from cold water fish including Salmon, Herring, Halibut and Tuna. EPA is known to play an important role in maintainance as well as prevention of cardiovascular Disease while DHA is important in proper brain development and also great to quality nerve development.


Fish Oil.

What is the difference between omega 3 fatty acid and fish oil

This basically is the oil derived from cold water fish and they include EPA(eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) and there is a complete absence of ALA(alpha-linolenic acid). Both EPA and DHA can be gotten from cold water fish like Salmon, tuna, halibut etc, ALA, however is derived from Vegetable oils like canola oil and soybeans, also from nuts such as walnut.


It is important to note that fish on its own contains no Omega 3 essential fatty acid, they however accumulates lots of it by constantly feasting on marine algae which forms the major part of their diets and marine algae are known to contain very rich amount of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Fish Oil And Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Both Omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil are have been proven to have massive benefits in human health as they are vital to the health of every cell and so they are required for the formation of cell membranes.


Aside that, other proven benefits of omega 3 fatty acids are; they help to lower the amount of lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides circulating in the blood stream thereby preventing atherosclerosis.Also, they help to Inhibits thickening of the arteries as well as dilates and relaxes the arteries. They are also good as they help in decreasing platelet aggregation thereby preventing excessive blood clotting.

Generally, people who take regular serving of Omega 3 essential fatty acids have lower risk of cardiovascular disease.



Many people have this erroneous belief that all fats are bad and unhealthy but that is not really true. Infact our bodies require healthy fat to function optimally and Omega 3 essential fatty acids provides such fat.


The Difference between Omega 3 fatty acids and Fish Oil.

So now, what is the difference between the two? The major difference between Omega 3 Fatty acids and fish oil is that; Omega 3 comprises of ALA(alpha-linolenic acid), EPA( eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid). Fish oil on the other hand contains only EPA and DHA.


Note that the American Heart Associations recommends a daily dosage of one gram of  Omega 3 essential acid. where you can not find it in your diet, supplementation should be the next  option as our bodies do not manufacture omega 3 fatty acids.



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