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Zone Living

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Jennifer Barrows
on July 05, 2016


Compare fish oil, krill oil, flax oil and cod liver oil. See which omega-3 oils have the best health benefits, and what differentiates them.


Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for optimal wellness and they help with heart, brain and eye health, resolve inflammation and can help support a healthy diet as well. One of the most important aspects of a good omega-3 oil supplement is its purity.  Although the Omega-3 market is clouded with options here are the facts on some of the most common omega-3 oil choices:

  • OmegaRx Fish Oil Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA found in OmegaRx Fish Oil, are the essential building blocks for resolving diet-induced inflammation and improving overall wellness. Taking omega-3 fatty acids can have several health benefits including heart health, brain health, behavior and mood regulation, cellular rejuvenation, athletic performance and recovery and vision health. It is important to make sure that the omega-3s you take are pure and contain the least PCBs possible. PCBs are industrial waste that is found in the oceans. Because it does not break down, all fish contain some PCBs. OmegaRx is highly purified to remove as many PCBs as possible. Zone publishes its purity data for every lot of OmegaRx on the website. For more information on the function of EPA and DHA see What Are the Real Differences between EPA and DHA.
  • Krill Oil – Although krill oil has omega-3s and some antioxidants, it is usually extremely contaminated. Krill are  tiny shrimp, approximately one to six centimeters in length, and are a dietary staple for whales, small fish, and seabirds. To extract their oil, they must be soaked in hexane, a chemical found in gasoline and treated with acetone, a chemical found in nail polish remover. Krill oil also has a large amount of what is called free fatty acids, which are short-chain fatty acids that are unstable and oxidize (become rancid) quickly.
  • Flax Seed Oil – The fatty acids found in flax seeds are called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and although these are Omega-3 fatty acids, they are not anti-inflammatory in nature like the EPA and DHA found in fish oil unless they are able to be transformed into EPA and DHA. The body is capable of doing this, but in order to get the same anti-inflammatory properties as a serving of OmegaRx Fish oil, you’d have to eat pounds of ground flax seeds per day. So while vegans are excited about getting their omega-3s from flax seeds, they may still not be getting enough to get the same effect as taking fish oil.
  • Cod Liver Oil – Cod liver oil was very popular in American households at the turn of the twentieth century. Almost every child was required to take a tablespoon of cod liver oil (and remembers how awful it tasted) every day. It delivered essential omega-3 fatty acids and had all the same benefits of refined fish oil used today, but over the years, the oceans have become contaminated with PCBs and other industrial toxins making cod liver oil a less safe choice. In recent years, proponents of health have been touting the benefits of fermented cod liver oil as a dietary supplement, but just because it says that it is pure on the bottle, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is true.

The best, most direct source of omega-3 fatty acids that your body can process to get the EPA and DHA it needs to resolve inflammation and maintain wellness is a pure fish oil such as OmegaRx.


Related: 5 Healthy Oils & How to Cook with Them

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