Close

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Are flaxseed and linseed oils a vegetarian omega-3 alternative?

Q) I have rheumatoid arthritis. In your Q&A correspondence, the benefit of omega-3 from fish oil is mentioned. Can the same benefit be gained from flaxseed/linseed oil as a vegetarian alternative, which is claimed to contain omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9, together with palmitic acid and stearic acid? Also, can the immuno-suppressive effect of 10 mg methotrexate daily, together with other drugs, taken for some years, be a reason why my colds this year have dragged on over weeks into months?
Keith Johnson, via email (Winter 2013)

A) For your first question, the crucial factor is the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 oil in the alternative dietary supplements. I have heard that flaxseed and linseed oil are acceptable alternatives to fish oil but you will have to compare the amounts of the constituents in order to make sure that you are getting the same amount. For your second question, although the weekly dose of methotrexate you take is small, patients taking this medication often say that they seem to suffer more colds and flu, and that they take longer to go away. On another note, if you are taking methotrexate it is recommended that you have an annual flu jab, and a jab for pneumonia every 10 years. You should be able to get these from your GP.


Helpline

0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

More Information Close
For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.