Relieve Dry Eyes With Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil

November 12, 2012

Relieve Dry Eyes With Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil

Both fish oil and flaxseed oil contain essential fatty acids that have many medical health benefits. One of which is the prevention or relief of dry eyes.

There are many other benefits provided by these fatty acids such as a reduced risk of heart disease and reduced chronic inflammation, which can cause a number of serious diseases including cancer. There is also evidence suggesting that chronic inflammation could be the underlying cause of osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Many patients suffering from dry eyes are now being advised by their eye doctor to take daily supplements of flaxseed oil and fish oil. This is because it has been found to appear that these supplements reduce the symptoms of dry eye such as stinging, redness, burning and periodic visual impairments. The supplements are thought to have a positive effect used alone or simultaneously with lubricating eye drops. Researchers also believe that these essential fatty acids could reduce the risk of developing more serious eye problems such as cataracts.

Both flaxseed oil and fish oil contain omega 3 essential fatty acids, which is where the oils get most of their nutritional value. The omega 3 acid in flaxseed is known as alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. In order to be used throughout the body this acid has to be converted into 2 different omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Flaxseed oil is available in capsule or liquid form and should be taken according to preference. Capsules are often considered more convenient but the liquid form contains a higher concentration of omega 3. If you are taking them based on advise from your eye doctor, you may need to take a large number of capsules to reach your recommended daily dose. If you decide to go with the liquid form, keep it away from light, heat and oxygen as any one of these will easily destroy its nutritional properties. As an alternative to the oil, you can take flaxseed in ground up form. Purchase the seeds whole and put them in a coffee grinder. Add the freshly ground seeds to salads, shakes or fruit juice to profit from the benefits.

Fish oils as well as fatty fish are great sources of omega 3 fats and unlike flaxseeds the acids are already EPA and DHA, which can be absorbed by the body immediately. This means the body gets a larger dose of omega 3 when you eat fish oils or fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines than when you eat flaxseed or other plant foods containing ALA. This is because your body only converts about 5% of the ALA you eat into the essential EPA and DHA.

Additionally the diet of the average American contains too much omega 6 fatty acids. An imbalance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids results in even less ALA converted into EPA and DHA and also reduces the benefits that these fatty acids have to offer. When eaten in moderation omega 6 fatty acids can also be healthful, however most people have far too much omega 6 compared to omega 3. Reduce your in take by reducing the amount of vegetable oil in your diet, this includes corn, soy and sunflower oil and food which is prepared using these oils including most snacks and prepared food.

Grilled salmon, tuna and halibut are all great sources of omega 3 fatty acids and are often the preferred method of acquiring the acids over taking fish oil supplements, which often leave a fishy taste in the mouth. Fish oils, like flaxseed oil, are available in capsule or liquid form and some of them contain flavourings in an attempt to reduce the fishy taste. So whether you chose to take flaxseed oil or fish oils as a way to combat dry eye is up to you as both are packed with the nutrients needed to relieve the symptoms.

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