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Guide to Flaxseed Oil Capsules and Soft Gels
If you’re thinking of buying flaxseed oil, you’ll find it available in bottled liquids and capsules.
While the bottled oils are one of the most popular products, flaxseed oil capsules or soft gels are a convenient way to package the ingredients in a ready-to-use, precise dosage form.
Flaxseed oil is made from linseed and flaxseeds. The seeds an excellent source of protein, fiber and lignans. Lignans are a powerful antioxidant and plant estrogen found in the hull of the seed. The oils from the seeds contain the omega 3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an ingredient which has been shown to help reduce inflammation.
You’ll find the oils are usually packaged in bottles or in individual soft gel capsules. The most common soft gel dosages are 500 mg. and 1000 mg.
Most of the soft gels will come packaged containing 100% flaxseed oil. However, there are some products available that may provide extra ingredients in the capsules, such as additional blends of oils or other active ingredients.
Here’s an example of the actual fatty acid content in a bottle of flaxseed oil soft gels from a popular brand. The oil is primarily made up the omega 3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid:
- Omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) – 445 mg
- Omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) – 130 mg
- Omega-9 fatty acids (oleic acid) – 145 mg
- Flaxseed particulate (lignan-rich) – 190 mg
You’ll find that the majority of products will provide about 40% alpha linolenic acid per 1000 mg. This is equal to about 400 – 500 mg. per pill. However, there are many different products that will give you many different alpha linolenic concentrations.
If the dosage amount of alpha linolenic acid is important to you, then you’ll need to carefully study the ingredient labels to determine the actual ingredients you’ll be getting in each soft gel or pill.
You can also buy flaxseed oil soft gels and capsules mixed with other ‘carrier oils’ such as pumpkin seed oil and evening primrose oil (high in omega 6 fatty acids).
You should keep the bottles of capsules tightly sealed and stored in a dry place away from excessive heat.
Pros and Cons of Flaxseed Oil Soft Gels:
- Some people don’t like the taste of the flaxseed oil; Flaxseed oil capsules can be easily swallowed without tasting the oil.
- The oil is protected from light exposure and UV radiation.
- Soft gels and capsules help keep the flaxseed oil stable.
- Encapsulation may help minimize free radical formation in the oil.
- May protect the oil from going rancid.
- Soft gels and capsules are tamper-proof. The contents may leak or become discolored if it’s been punctured or tampered with.
- Flaxseed oil capsules are easier to take with you to work, the gym or day trip. Simply pop a few in your briefcase or backpack and they’re ready to take later in the day.
- You may get a smaller dose of flaxseed oil and omega 3 fatty acids per soft gel. One tablespoon of the best flaxseed oil will give you around 7 grams of alpha linolenic acid. You may have to take a dozen 1000 mg. capsules to get the same amount of ALA found in a bottled liquid.
- Higher Cost – The cost per dose may be higher than liquid flaxseed oils when you compare on a gram for gram basis.
- Most soft gels and capsules are made from gelatin. Gelatin is usually made from the connective tissue, skin and bones of animals. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can find flaxseed oil capsules made with “vegetarian” soft gels made from non-animal sources.
If you’re interested, here’s a link to how soft gel capsules are made.
There are many different products to choose from. Dozens of vitamin and nutritional supplement companies have their own brand of flaxseed oil soft gels on the marketplace with different dosages and ingredients.
Some of the more popular brands in North America are Natrol, Spectrum, Nature’s Way, Now Foods and many more.
A popular product from Amazon.com is Barlean’s Organic Flaxseed Oil Soft gels. Each dosage of this particular brand provides a variety of healthy fats, including 1335 mg. of Omega 3 fatty acids, 388 mg. of Omega 6 and 437 mg. of Omega 9’s.
Prices for these products will depend on the dosage and amount per bottle. Average prices for 100 capsules per bottle can range from $15 – $25 for 1000 mg. soft gels. It’s important to scan the bottle label to determine the actual ingredients per capsule and the cost per capsule.