Eating the right fats is now essential for optimum health, today many
people are now realising that there is a necessity to consume the good fats
and reduce the harmful fats. The good fats are the two essential fats:
Omega- 3 Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) also called super polyunsaturated and
Omega-6 Linoleic Acid (LA), more commonly known as polyunsaturated fat.
These fats are essential because our bodies cannot exist without them and
most importantly of all they must come from food. A serious deficiency of
either results in progressively poorer health. For these reasons, healthy
fat is every bit as important as protein, minerals and vitamins. Our eating
habits have changed since the arrival of processed food.
Studies show the change in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fat consumption over the
past million years. Note the reduced consumption of Omega-3 since 1900. It
is true to say that we now consume too much Omega-6 and insufficient
Omega-3. To correct this imbalance we need to consume more Omega- 3, (the
richest source is Flaxseed Oil with 52-62%) whilst reducing Omega-6.
To reduce Omega-6, avoid purchasing products such as Margarine that
emphasise Polyunsaturated and replace with monounsaturated products or
products emphasizing Omega-3.
Why do I need essential fats?
The essential fats act as lubricants, cushions and insulators, guarding
against the stresses that we encounter. They provide structural rigidity to
cell membranes, and specifically in the case of the Omega-3 Alpha Linolenic
Acid (ALA), provide a range of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids.1 ALA is also
known to disperse platelet aggregates in the blood
A recent paper3 also explores the possibility of ALA increasing the tissue
concentration of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), a special fatty acid stored in
the brain - brain food with implications for improving visual acuity and
enriching brain cell communication and development. Omega-3 ALA can be
converted in our bodies to the longer chain EPA and DHA found in fish oils
in the same way that fish eat algae to convert plant ALA to EPA and DHA.
The National and Medical Research Council recommend we increase our
consumption of omega-3 fats (4)
To reverse the present imbalance we need to increase consumption of oils
rich in Omega-3 fatty acids - Flaxseed (52-62%), Fish Oil (30%) and Cod
Liver Oil (up to 25%), and reduce Omega-6 oils - Safflower, Sunflower,
Sesame, Peanut, most other vegetable oils and fatty meats. The ultimate
objective is to have an equal (1:1) ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty
Can everyone take Flaxseed Oil?
Everyone can enjoy the benefits of Flaxseed Oil.
How is Flaxseed Oil taken and when is the best time?
Flaxseed Oil can be taken at any time of the day. It can be added to
breakfast cereal (before adding the milk), make a smoothie, add to salads
or taken off the spoon. As Flaxseed Oil is intended to be taken regularly,
breakfast is the ideal time.
What does it taste like?
Flaxseed Oil has a nutty buttery taste that is pleasant.
Is Flaxseed Oil the same as Fish oil?
Flaxseed Oil is plant oil high in Omega-3 (ALA). Fish eat plants and
algae also rich in Omega-3 ALA and then convert the ALA to EPA and DHA
in their bodies. Humans can convert ALA to EPA and DHA in their bodies,
especially if they reduce their consumption of Omega-6
(polyunsaturated) oils such as safflower and sunflower salad oils and
Can you take too much Flaxseed Oil?
Yes you can take too much of anything. Fat or oil intake should not
exceed 30% of total kilojoules (calories) per day. When taking Flaxseed
Oil, you should be mindful of reducing other fats so total fat is not
Why is Flaxseed Oil packaged in opaque containers?
Light, especially bluish fluorescent light, is very damaging to Omega-3
oils such as Flax and fish oils as it initiates photon oxidation. Light
is reported to be more damaging than heat. Why is Flaxseed Oil kept in
the refrigerator? Omega-3 oils such as Flax and Fish oil maintain their
freshness longer when kept at a low temperature. If storage over a long
period is necessary it is safe to store in the freezer.
How long does it keep?
Unopened and refrigerated, Flaxseed Oil has a 12 month dating. After
opening, keep refrigerated and use within 8 - 10 weeks.
Why do Omega-3 rich oils require special production methods?
Omega-3 rich oils such as Flaxseed need to be produced in the absence
of air and light and at a temperature as low as 35¡C in order to reduce
the potential to oxidise.
Natural Vitamin E
It is frequently reported that additional Vitamin E should also be
taken when consuming Omega-3 fatty acids on the basis that the Omega-3
fats are prone to oxidation with the consequent development of free
radicals. Melrose Vitamin E is a mixed tocopherol anti-oxidant
predominantly gamma tocopherol.
Natural Vitamin E, produced from Soy, Corn or Sunflower oil, is
composed of a mixture of tocopherols: gamma, alpha, delta and beta.
Researchers initially believed that the alpha form was the more
effective anti-oxidant and manufacturers converted the mixture to
alpha, but results of trials have been disappointing. It is now widely
believed that the natural form of mixed tocopherols with gamma
predominating offers a superior choice.
Re-arranging the type of fats consumed by reducing Omega-6 and
increasing Omega-3 does not increase weight.
The adult daily usage is 2 teaspoons (1 dessertspoon or 10ml)
For children 6 months to 2 years - 1 teaspoon every other day.
2 years to 5 years - 1 teaspoon daily
6 years to 12 years - 1 teaspoon daily
13 years and older - 2 teaspoons daily
Pregnant and nursing mothers - 1 to 3 teaspoons daily
We recommend for maximum taste, freshness and quality to
only buy flaxseed oils which have been stored in the
1. E. Mantzioris, M.J.James, R.A.Gibson and L.G.Cleland - Dietary
Substitution with Linolenic acid - rich vegetable oil increases
eicosapentaenoic acid concentration in tissues. Am J Clin Nutr 1994
2. Allman MA, Pena MM, Pang D, - Supplementation with flaxseed oil
versus sunflower oil in healthy young men consuming a low fat diet:
effects on platelet composition and function. Eur J Clin Nutr.
3. L.Abedin, E.I.Lien, A.J.Vingrys and A.J.Sinclair. The Effects of
Dietary - Linolenic Acid Compared with Docosahexaenoic acid on Brain,
Retina, Liver and Heart in the Guinea Pig. Lipids, Vol. 34, no 5 (1999)
4. National Health & Medical Research Council. - The role of
polyunsaturated fats in the Australian diet. 1992. AGPS: Canberra.