The Health Benefits of Flax Seed Oil

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Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil, is extracted from the dried, ripe seeds of the flaxseed plant. It’s usually clear or slightly yellowish in color.

The scientific name of flaxseed or linseed plant is Linum usitatissimum, which is a member of the genus Linum and the plant family, Linaceae. Flaxseed oil is widely used as a supplement, mainly due to the fact that it contains essential fatty acids known as, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The ratio between fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, should be 1:2 in a healthy, balanced diet. However, the Standard American Diet often contains too much omega-6 fatty acids, in comparison to omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to balance the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your diet.


Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil

As mentioned above, flaxseed oil is very high in essential fatty acids. It contains omega-3 essential fatty acid, known as alpha linoleic acid. Alpha linoleic acid is the precursor to two other omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are the fatty acids that can be found in fish oil supplements. Most of the health benefits of fish oil are attributed to the presence of these two fatty acids.

Both EPA and DHA are known for their immense benefits for the heart and the cardiovascular system. Apart from the cardiovascular system, the immune system, circulatory system, the joints and cartilage of the body and even the nervous system can benefit from flaxseed oil. The most important and noteworthy flaxseed oil health benefits are described below.

  • Lowers Cholesterol
    Rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can help lower the level of cholesterol, especially the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood. The level of triglycerides may also be lowered by flaxseed oil.
  • Boost Cardiovascular System
    By lowering the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, flaxseed oil can help your cardiovascular system, and overall health of your heart.
  • Prevent Atherosclerosis
    May help prevent the development of atherosclerosis, which is one of the most important benefits of flaxseed oil. Atherosclerosis is characterized by the accumulation of fatty material along the walls of arteries, which may eventually harden and increase the risk of developing heart and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Regulates Blood Pressure
    Sufficient intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids, from fish oil supplements or flaxseed oil, may prove helpful in regulating your blood pressure. If you have hypertension or angine, adding flax to your diet may provide many health benefits.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties
    Omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and may help control inflammatory conditions such as, lupus, gout and arthritis.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    May be beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease. This oil can help to reduce the inflammation of the intestine and is a great food to add to a colon cleansing diet.
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
    Flaxseed oil may also help alleviate symptoms associated with Sjogren’s syndrome, including dry eyes and cracked lips.
  • Improves Skin Conditions
    Effective in alleviating skin conditions like, eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea. All of these are significant flaxseed oil benefits for skin. In addition to these, this oil can promote the growth of healthy hair and nail as well.
  • Health Benefits for Women
    Flaxseed oil is especially important for women. They may experience more health including, improvement in uterine functions, regular menstrual cycle, alleviation or reduction of menopausal symptoms and reduction of the risks of breast cancer.

Side Effects of Flaxseed oil

The side effects of flaxseed oil are not very serious. These side effects include, diarrhea and bloating, which can be experienced if flax oil is taken excessively. Some people may be allergic to flax, and therefore, may experience reactions. If you suffer from bleeding disorders, or take a blood thinner, you should consultyour doctor before taking flaxseed oil, because it may raise the risk of bleeding.

Preliminary research on flaxseed oil has expressed a concern that using it excessively, on a long-term basis, it may raise your risk of devloping prostrate cancer. However, this side effect is not common. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor before taking flax oil, because the risks/benefits are not completely known yet.

14 Responses to “The Health Benefits of Flax Seed Oil”

  1. Victoria says:

    Essential fatty acids are so important. It’s really amazing how many benefits they have. I am curious how flax seed oil compares to fish oil. Do they share the same list of benefits?

  2. Allen Schmeul says:

    Omega 3 benefits information. Barleans organic oils provide high quality organic oils to help improve your health.

  3. Lucy says:

    perfect! so useful information! must have a copy of this and spread it to my friends and family.

  4. Miranda says:

    Hi

    I am using flax primarily to reduce inflammation. I have rosacea (6 years now) and try to balance my diet. Since I do that things are much better. I used to take omega3 capsules, but now I use flax so I don’t have to supplement it. This is a really great seed!

    Miranda

  5. Jon says:

    Excellent information. More people should investigate the benefits of flax seed oil. It does not have any of the unpleasant tastes that you find in other oils. It is a very neutral oil and it has so many amazing benefits. I started taking it years ago and still do.

  6. Daniel . AU says:

    Since using flax oil my knees have been great. I can now play basketball again! Even though I’m upside down.

  7. Dave says:

    I’ve been trying to take a spoonful of flax oihttp://nutritionhealthfitness.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=moderated#comments-forml each day. Does anyone else think it tastes ke fish oil? It tastes fishy to me. It’s not the best tasting stuff, but it really helps me!

  8. jc from hCG diet plan says:

    I know some people use flaxseed oil for weight loss, does it have any side effect for long term use?


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