5 Potential Benefits Of Flaxseed And Flaxseed Oil

Date October 13, 2017

The popularity of flaxseed and flaxseed oil is on the rise now. These products are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which is partially converted into DHA and EPA (more active omega-3s) when ingested. Flaxseed is claimed to have numerous health benefits, but is it really true? And if yes, to what extent? Research results confirm some of the popular statements, while evidence on others is insufficient.

Below is the list of flaxseed’s supposed benefits and information that studies say about them:

1. It may be good for your cardiovascular health.

Some studies show that flaxseed and flaxseed oil can reduce your cholesterol levels and lower your blood pressure. Since high cholesterol and high blood pressure are two major factors that damage your heart and vessels, adding some flaxseed or flaxseed oil to your diet may provide a positive effect on your circulatory system.

2. It can be used as a laxative.

Ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil can be used to treat constipation. According to one study, flaxseed oil is as good for this purpose as olive oil and mineral oil. Still, more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness because studies conducted so far have been limited to animals and people with certain conditions.

3. It may be beneficial for your skin.

A few studies show that taking flaxseed oil orally can make your skin more hydrated and smooth as well as decrease irritation. In one study, flaxseed oil helped relieve dermatitis in mice. But there’s no research on the effects of applying flaxseed oil directly on the skin. Some people claim that it works just and can also be used to make hair masks.

4. It may help reduce inflammation.

Study results on this claim have been mixed. Some studies suggest that flaxseed oil can reduce inflammation, while other researches didn’t show any significant effect. Apparently, olive oil is more beneficial for this purpose.

5. It might reduce the risk of cancer.

Test-tube and animal studies confirm this claim, but more research on humans is needed to measure the effectiveness of flaxseed oil for cancer prevention.

Flaxseed oil can be taken as a supplement or added to foods such as salads. However, it shouldn’t be used in cooking because heating it leads to the formation of harmful compounds. If you prefer flaxseed itself, you should grind it before consuming to make the healthy oils available.

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil can produce side effects and are not recommended for certain groups of people:

- flaxseed can sometimes cause diarrhea, cramps, gas, and bloating;

- flaxseed can interfere with medications, including anticoagulants, NSAIDS, hormone treatments, and drugs used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. If you take any meds, talk to your doctor before you start using flaxseed or flaxseed oil;

- don’t eat raw or unripe flaxseed – it can be poisonous;

- people with diabetes, bipolar disorder, high triglycerides, bleeding disorders, or prostate cancer should use flaxseed with reservation and discuss it with their doctors first;

- people with Crohn’s disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, breast cancer, and uterine cancer should not use flaxseed;

- because the safety of flaxseed isn’t fully studied, children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding females also shouldn’t use flaxseed.

Sources: HealthLine, WebMD, Global Healing Center

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Fabiosa doesn’t take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this post. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader should consult with their physician or other health care provider.