08 July, 2011
Flax Seed Oil Vs. Grape Seed Oil
Flax seed oil comes from the flax plant and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contains essential fat alpha-linoleic acid. Grape seed oil is pressed from the seeds of grapes and sometimes the skins. Grape seed is rich in oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes—OCP an antioxidant.
Flax Seed Oil
Flax seed oil has gained popularity because of the rich content of omega-3 fats. Flax seed oil is 50 percent to 60 percent omega-3 fat alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is more than fish oil. Flax seed oil has beneficial effects for lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels and promoting bone health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). A feature flax seed oil has is promoting bone health by preventing excessive calcium lose through bone turnover, as stated by the Whole Foods Market. Decreasing calcium loss helps to maintain bone integrity, which is beneficial for individuals at risk for osteoporosis.
Omega-3 fat alpha-linoleic acid also converts to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in the body. EPA is the reason why cold water fish have pliable cell membranes. Delta-6-desaturase is an enzyme that converts alpha-linoleic acid from flax seed into EPA. In humans, this enzyme conversion is weak and can possibly limit the benefits of ALA from flax seed oil. For people who have uncontrolled diabetes, drink alcohol and have high saturated fat intakes, you can expect a decreased activity of this enzyme pathway, according to the Whole Foods Market. Your body will require higher levels of flax seed oil to convert the alpha-linoleic acid to EPA because of decreased activity of delta-6-desaturase.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil has gained popularity in recent years as cooking oil, as well as being used in cosmetics. The high smoke point—425 degrees Fahrenheit--of grape seed oil makes it a good choice for cooking, as it can handle varied cooking temperatures. Flax seed oil's smoke point of 225 degrees Fahrenheit prevents you from using it as a cooking oil, as stated by the Whole Foods Market. Grape seed oil has a clean cooking taste and doesn’t alter the taste of dishes. Grape seed oil is high in vitamin E, linoleic acid, flavonoids and powerful antioxidant oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes.
Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes could have benefit to lower LDL—bad cholesterol levels. According to University Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), grape seed extract may lower cholesterol levels of smokers. OPC is used to treat chronic venous insufficiency, according to UMMC. The university also notes OPC complexes help blood vessel integrity, possibly maintaining healthy blood pressure values and preventing cholesterol accumulation by decreasing the ability of cholesterol to attach to damaged blood vessel walls.
If you choose either oil as a supplement, know both oils can interact with blood thinners, according to the UMMC. Both oils are available in oral supplemental form to deliver the oils' qualities in concentrated quantities. You should speak to your health care provider before starting a new supplement to check for drug interactions that could pose a threat to your health.
- grappe de raisin image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com