Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
So you may be asking….what’s so good about flaxseed oils?
Well, the main benefits of flaxseed oil is it provides a rich source of healthy fats, plant proteins, vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. How’s that for a mouthful of goodness?
The seeds themselves contain about 42% oil and more than 70% of that oil is made up of a polyunsaturated fat in the form of an omega 3 fatty acid called Alpha linolenic acid (ALA).
Food scientists state that omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats that you need for optimal health. These fats play an important role in brain function and cellular development. And the fact is, your body can’t make these essential fats so you need to get them from your diet.
When you actually eat some flaxseeds, your body converts the alpha linolenic acid (ALA) into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Unfortunately, research shows that the conversion process for alpha linolenic acid isn’t very efficient.
So if you’re going to use flaxseed oil for the omega 3 fatty acids, you may want to think about supplementing your diet with other food sources of healthy fats, such as fatty fish, walnuts and fish oils.
Seven Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
1. May Reduce Risk for Heart Disease
Research shows omega 3’s can reduce high cholesterol and may help minimize plaque build-up in your arteries.
One study found women who ate 1.5 grams of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) every day had a 46% lower risk for sudden cardiac death than those who ate lower amount.
2. May Reduce Risk for High blood Pressure
Scientists believe that eating a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids (including ALA) can reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Researchers at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre in Winnipeg, Canada concluded that alpha linolenic acid in flaxseed reduces the incidence of fatty deposits in the arteries, which may lower the risk for high blood pressure.
3. Improve Skin Health
A study published in the July 2010 issue of Clinic of Dermatology found alpha linolenic acid may help treat skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, lupus erytheromatos and melanoma.
Using flaxseed oil for acne may help lead to softer and smoother-looking skin with less breakouts.
The healthy fats in flaxseed oil may improve your skin health by:
help maintain the integrity of your skin.
raises your threshold for getting a sunburn.
helps your skin heal faster.
may promote cell death of malignant skin cells such as melanoma.
4. Possible Reduced Risk for Cancer
Can you use this supplement to cure cancer? A controversial cancer treatment called The Budwig Diet is rumored to cure cancer. Before you jump the gun and try this diet make sure your read this information in this eye-opening report.
Can you get prostate cancer from taking this product? – Find out what The National Cancer Institute believes is the real reason for the rise in prostate cancer…and it’s not from flaxseed oils.
Flax Seed and Cancer – Flax seed is an excellent plant source of phytoestrogens called lignans. Animal studies found these compounds may help protect against color and breast cancer by blocking tumors from forming. Learn how a tablespoon a day of this healthy seed may reduce your risk for certain types of cancers.
5. Lower Risk for High Cholesterol?
Latest research on flaxseed and cholesterol shows mixed results. Scientist discovered milled or ground flaxseeds may perform better at lowering cholesterol than the oils. While the oils may boost your alpha linolenic acid levels, researchers believe it’s the lignans and fiber in flaxseed that may have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
6. Can you Use Flaxseed Oil to Cure Constipation?
This idea may have come from the use of taking mineral oil to help provide lubrication for slow moving stools; or that old wives’ tale of taking cod liver oil for constipation. Current research now shows this may not be the most effective treatment for slow moving bowels.
Doctors believe constipation is caused from eating a poor diet, lack of exercise and not eating enough fiber. The daily recommended dose of fiber is about 20 – 25 grams.
One of the most effective treatments for constipation is ground flaxseeds. One tablespoon of ground or milled flaxseed provides 2.2 grams of fiber.
What are other food sources of fiber? You can use dried beans, whole wheat bran cereals, and dried fruit (figs & apricots). If you’re interested, here’s a great article on bowel function & fiber from Dr. Warren Encker, Director of Gastrointestinal Institute for Cancer and Continuum Cancer Centers of New York.
7. Reduce Joint Pain in Arthritis – Research shows omega-3’s can exert an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. This effect may help reduce morning stiffness, joint tenderness and improve your mobility.
Flaxseed Product FAQs
Flax Seed vs Fish Oil – Which is the better healthy oil? You may be surprised what researchers learned which one is better utilized by your body….
9 Most Common Flaxseed Oils Side Effects – Learn about the 9 most common side effects and how you can avoid them.
Flaxseed Oils Forum – Share your own and read other visitor’s experiences and product reviews.
Buyer’s Guide to Flaxseed Oils – Find out how to choose the best product based on how it was made, actual ingredients and customer reviews.
Benefits of Flaxseed Oil Research References:
Omega 3 fatty acids specifically modulate catabolic factors involved in articular cartilage degradation. Journal of Biology and Chemistry. Curtis CL, Hughes CE, Flannery CR, Little CB, Harwood JL, Caterson B, 2000;275(2):721-724.
Omega-3 fatty acids and coronary heart disease risk: clinical and mechanistic perspectives. Atherosclerosis. 2008;197(1):12-24. Harris WS, Miller M, Tighe AP, Davidson MH, Schaefer EJ.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the cardiovascular system. Current Opinions in Lipidology. 2000;11(1):57-63.
Importance of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71 (1 Suppl.): 171Sâ€“175S.
Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Clinics in Dermatology, 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):440-51.rant-Kels JM.
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