The Relationship Between Fish Oil And Dry Eye

by CRfan

Besides being part of a healthy diet fish oil can help sufferers of dry eye. It works by reducing inflammation and changing the composition of the oily layer of the tears.

Both flaxseed oil and fish oil are good sources of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil specifically has been lauded as a beneficial part of a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with a multivitamin supplement and routine exercise.

Fish oil in particular is part of the remedy for dry eye disease, especially for those who suffer from evaporative dry eye. The omega-3 fatty acids that are contained in these oils help to alleviate this condition by reducing inflammation and by altering the composition of the different oils that the meibomian glands secrete. With reduced inflammation the lacrimal glands have the ability to create more tears.

A study that was recently published in the journal Cornea recorded the results received from 36 patients who took DHA, EPA and 1000 mg of flaxseed oil and after the 90 day test period, 70% of the studied individuals were found to have fewer symptoms of dry eye as opposed to just 7% within the control group.

Flaxseed Oil

There is a different form of omega-3 in flaxseed oil than in fish oil.  This contains high amounts of ALA or alpha-linolenic acid which converts during the body's digestive process into DHA and EPA, the two forms which are most beneficial.

Flaxseed oil can be found in both liquid form and capsules.  While the capsule tends to be highly convenient for most users, you may require several capsules in order to get the same amount that is contained within liquids.  Given that the omega-3 that is naturally found in flaxseed is ALA, which will need to be converted into DHA and EPA by the body, it typically takes a substantial amount more of flaxseed oil in order to get the same effectiveness that is provided by fish oil.

If you are a vegan or a vegetarian of any other type and flaxseed does not bode well for your diet, ground flax seeds or flaxseed oil is the ideal way to obtain the omega-3s that you require.

Because many of the most advantageous properties of flaxseed oil can be compromised or damged by heat and light, the best types of flaxseed products are generally placed in the refrigerated sections of the stores that carry them and they are commonly packaged in bottles that are dark in color.  You should additionally search for flaxseed oil that was manufactured using the cold-pressed processing method.

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The omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) contained in flaxseed oil is a precursor to essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), commonly fo...

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Fish Oil

The majority of fish oil comes from three type of common fish: sardines, tuna and salmon.  If you are currently consuming these types of fish in your regular diet as well as cod or halibut at least thrice per week, you are already giving your body and eyes a significant boost by providing these with the necessary omega-3s.

Fish oil is likewise available in liquid form and capsules.  It might occasionally include additional flavors like lemon, to help mask the fishy taste.  Many consumers complain of what are called "fish burps" when they take fish oil capsules and thus, it is imperative to choose a top quality capsule that contains only top-quality oil if you want to avoid this issue.  Check for brands that promise not to cause fishy-tasting belches.

Another common risk in taking fish products or eating fish is mercury contamination.  Due to the fact that mercury tends to accumulate in the fish flesh, rather than the actual oil, there tends to be very little or no mercury present in products comprised of fish oil.

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What Kind of Omega-3 Do You Take?

What About Fatty Acids Of The Omega-6 Variety?

Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in quite a few food items in the typical American diet.  Vegetable oils such as soy, corn and sunflower oils contain omega-6 and it is also found in many packaged foods and snacks as well.  Due to this fact, most people get far more Omega-6 acids than they do omega-3.  While Omega-6 is not a bad dietary addition, it is important to maintain the right ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.

In large quantities omega-6s provide results that are opposite to those of omega-3s, by blocking omega-3 absorption and promoting inflammation.  Limiting your consumption of foods that are high in omega-6 acids is the best way that you can combat this.  Due to the fact that ALA, which is found in flaxseed oil, can be blocked easily by omega-6, it will take quite a lot more of flaxseed oil to produce noticeable benefits than it will with fish oil, which includes more of the natural long-chain fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Who Should Not Use Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oil?

People who are currently taking blood thinners such as Warfarin or Coumadin or even low dose aspirin should speak with their physicians before starting a fish oil regimen.  In spite of the beneficial relationship between fish oil and dry eye, fish oil can actually reduce clotting and may increase the risk of bleeding.

Updated: 08/01/2012, CRfan
 
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