A Focus on Seed Oils: Different or Same as Marine Oils?

There are so many varieties of supplement oils in the marketplace, including many seed oils and marine oils, that it is hard to distinguish one from the other. Are there truly differences amongst them?

 

What are Seed Oils?

Seed oils are most optimally cold-pressed directly from fruit, vegetable or plant seeds, to retain nutrients and minimize deterioration. These include varieties such as: black currant, canola, camelina, chia, flax, pumpkin, sea buckthorn, sesame and safflower. How are they different from marine oils? Well, the most obvious difference is that marine oils come from water plants like algae and sea animals like fish and krill. Their nutrition factors are also what set them apart … read on for more.

 

Seed Oil Nutritional Breakdown

Oils, in general, have the same approximate 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. Both seed and marine oils contain healthful unsaturated fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K but their chemical structure – or what you’d see if you looked at them under a microscope – shows the specific location of their bonds and differentiates what we know as omega-3, omega-5, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids (and more). This bond location difference determines how the body might use them in different ways and it is these distinguishing differences that drive the relatively active field of nutrition research on seed and marine oils. These are some of the highlights.

 

Omega 5, 6, 9 – Polyunsaturated omega-5s are linked with cardiovascular health and blood sugar and hormone balance. Polyunsaturated omega-6s play a role in our immune response, blood clotting and building cell membranes. Mono-unsaturated omega-9s may help improve cholesterol profiles.

 

Omega 3 –Omega-3 fatty acids include essential polyunsaturated ALA, EPA and DHA, which are shown to help support cardiovascular, cognitive, respiratory, vision, joint, and skin health.

It is said that a balanced proportion of these fats is wise. It can also ensure you reap the additional nutritional rewards of each including plant phytosterols, B-vitamins and nutritious minerals that are present in some seed oils; and powerful antioxidants and cell membrane building phospholipids that are present in marine oils.

 

Where to Find Oils

Many seed and marine oil varieties are intended for culinary purposes and found, as such, in the grocery or health food store. Some are bottled as extracts and intended for topical skin applications. Yet, others are best suited for use as a dietary supplement, either as a stand-alone nutrient, or within a blended formulation targeting a specific health benefit. Neptune Wellness Solutions has broadened its production capabilities to include both seed and marine oils. Browse the website to learn more.