|Flaxseed oil benefits, flaxseed oil side effects
November 27, 2011
Flaxseed Oil Benefits
Feeding flaxseed oil diet did not result in a higher or lower bone mass or stronger or weaker femurs and lumbar vertebra
than in mice fed corn oil diet in either gender, suggesting that the level of ALA attainable in a 10% flaxseed oil diet is
safe with regard to bone development in growing mice. [A10]
Flaxseed oil may benefit the brain development of newborns. Maternal diet of flaxseed during pregnancy influences the
incorporation of omega-3 fatty acid in the composition of brain tissue, assuring a good development of this organ in
newborn rats. [A1] However, parents must consult with medical doctors before supplying flaxseed oil to newborns.
In a study, the associations of flaxseed oil use with health-related quality of life, with fatigue, and with 15
hormone-related symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats among 767 breast cancer survivors. It was found that
flaxseed oil users were more likely to have a better mental health summary score. [A2]
Flaxseed oil had no impact on fasting blood serum glucose, insulin or HbA1c levels. High doses of flaxseed oil have no
benefits related to glycemic control in type 2 diabetics. [A3, A4]
A study shows that fish and flaxseed oil can reduce skin inflammatory responses in cats, however, flaxseed oil appears
less immunosuppressive than fish oil. [A8] Anyway, flaxseed may have benefits on some kinds of skin inflammatory
It has been observed that people with Mediterrannean diet tend to have a good cholesterol profile. ALA (flaxseed oil),
olive oil, fish are the key ingredients of the a typical Mediteranean diet. Thus, it is speculating that flaxseed oil may
benefit people at risk of high cholesterol. However, a modest intake of omega 3 fatty acids, such as could be obtained
from consuming fish regularly, will reduce plasma triglyceride level without affecting LDL or HDL cholesterol levels. [A5]
In another study, twenty patients with compensated diabetes mellitus of 10-15-year duration took polyunsaturated fatty
acids omega-3 (30 g of flax oil a day) in addition to their routine food. This led to an insignificant lowering in total
cholesterol and elevation of cholesterol in high density lipoproteins. [A6] Thus, a moderate intake of flaxseed oil is likely
to benefit people suffered from high triglyceride (but not high cholesterol).
Heart Disease and Blood Pressure
It is observed that people who eat an ALA rich diet are less likely to have a fatal heart attack. Diets rich in omega-3 fatty
acids / ALA were shown to lower blood pressure. In a study, 1 mL of flaxseed oil, which is rich in ALA, and high oleic
safflower oil was administered orally to spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) of a control and an ALA group on days 1
and 5. It was found that ALA reduced the systolic blood pressure of SHR, and its mechanism may be related to increases
of prostaglandin I(2) and nitric oxide through bradykinin stimulation. [A7]
In a study, flaxssed oil (dosage 1000 mg/kg) reduced the renal cytotoxicity induced by lead acetate in male rats. [A3]
Please, note that the dosage used in the study was very very high.
No scientific report supports "Intake of 1-2 g of flaxseed daily may improve the symptoms of dry eye in people suffered
from Sjogren's Syndrome" (as of date of September 27, 2011)
Skin sensitivity is a common problem in the Western population correlated with changes of skin properties like skin
barrier function, hydration and skin physiology. Supplementation with flaxseed oil led to significant decreases in
sensitivity (after nicotinate irritation), transepidermal water loss, skin roughness and scaling, while smoothness and
hydration were increased. [A9]
Flaxseed Oil Benefits
Flaxseed Oil Side Effects and Warning
Flaxseed oil side effects are rare but unpleasant. Flaxseed oil side effect may include alteration of the absorption rate of
certain nutrients and drugs. According to an article published by The University of Maryland, flaxseed oil (ALA) side
effects may further include increasing the risk of macular degeneration and prostate cancer.
Users should not take flaxseed oil together with other blood thinning agents (such as aspirin, warfarin and clopedigrel),
blood sugar lowering agents (such as glipizide, glyburide, metformin and insulin)., cholesterol lowering agents (such as
statins), or even certain pain killers (such as ibuprofen and naproxen).
Flaxseed Oil for Dogs?
Marketers is promoting flaxseed oil for dogs. However, there are insufficient data to conclude the effectiveness and
safety of flaxseed oil on dogs.
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Flax (or linseed) is a member of Linum in the family of Linaceae. Flax has been extensively cultivated in ancient China and ancient Egypt, and now it
grows throughout Canada and the northwestern United States.
Flaxseed is the seed of flax, while flaxseed oil is the extracted from flaxseed. Traditionally, flaxseed is used as a laxative, and sometimes for hot
flashes and breast pain, while flaxseed oil is believed to benefit people suffered from arthritis, high cholesterol and at risk of certain cancers.
Reference A1 Lenzi Almeida KC, et al, Influence of omega-3 fatty acids from the flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) on the
brain development of newborn rats. Nutr Hosp. 2011 Oct;26(5):991-6. [A2] Ma H et al, Estrogenic botanical
supplements, health-related quality of life, fatigue, and hormone-related symptoms in breast cancer survivors: a HEAL
Study report. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Nov 8;11(1):109. [A3] Abdel Moneim AE, et al, The protective effect
of flaxseed oil on lead acetate-induced renal toxicity in rats. J Hazard Mater. 2011 Oct 30;194:250-5. [A3] Barre DE, et
al, High dose flaxseed oil supplementation may affect fasting blood serum glucose management in human type 2
diabetics. J Oleo Sci. 2008;57(5):269-73. [A4] Taylor CG, et al, Dietary milled flaxseed and flaxseed oil improve N-3 fatty
acid status and do not affect glycemic control in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010
Feb;29(1):72-80. [A5] Goh YK, et al, Effect of omega 3 fatty acid on plasma lipids, cholesterol and lipoprotein fatty acid
content in NIDDM patients. Diabetologia. 1997 Jan;40(1):45-52. [A6] Kaminskas A, et al, The effect of linseed oil on the
fatty acid composition of blood plasma low- and very low-density lipoproteins and cholesterol in diabetics Vopr Pitan.
1992 Sep-Dec;(5-6):13-4. [A7] Sekine S, et al, Lowering systolic blood pressure and increases in vasodilator levels in