Pros and Cons of Flaxseed Oil Capsules

green bottle with flaxseed oil capsules spilling out

Are flaxseed oil capsules better than using bottled oils?

Flaxseed oil is made from linseed and flaxseeds.

The seeds an excellent source of protein, fiber and lignans.

The oil made from flax seeds contain the omega 3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an ingredient which has been shown to help reduce inflammation.

Flaxseed oil is a popular nutritional supplement sold around the world.

You can find the oils are packaged as bottled liquids and soft gel capsules.

While the bottled oils are the most popular, flaxseed oil capsules or soft gels are a convenient way to package the oils in a ready-to-use dosage.

This article will look at the ingredients found in flaxseed oil capsules, the advantages and disadvantages to using them and how to choose the best flaxseed oil soft gel or capsules.

Average Ingredients in a Typical Flaxseed Oil Soft Gel Capsule

The majority of flaxseed oil soft gel or capsules are sold in a 1000 mg. size.

The main active ingredient in flaxseed oil is the essential fatty acids, which make up the bulk of the oil.

Here are the average ingredients found in a typical 1000 mg. soft gel capsule of flaxseed oil:

  • 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

Most flaxseed oils provide about 40% alpha linolenic acid (ALA). However, the actual amount of ALA you get will depend if the manufacturer adds any extra ingredients to the product.

Some products can come mixed with other oils, such as pumpkin seed oil and evening primrose oil (another plant oil high in omega 6 fatty acids).

Pros and Cons of Flaxseed Oil Capsules:

Advantages of Flaxseed Oil Capsules:

  • Flaxseed oil capsules can be easily swallowed without tasting the oil.
  • The soft gel contents are protected from light exposure and UV radiation.
  • Soft gels and capsules help keep the flaxseed oils stable.
  • Encapsulation may help minimize free radical formation in the oil.
  • Soft gel capsules 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 very portable – you can easily take capsules 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.

Disadvantages of Flaxseed Oil Capsules:

  • Soft gel capsules may be only available in smaller dosage sizes. One tablespoon of the best flaxseed oil can provide up to 7 grams of alpha linolenic acid, which may be equivalent to taking up to 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.
  • According to Natural Products Insider, the basics of soft gel encapsulation may involve using animal-based connective tissue, skin and bones to make the gelatin soft gels. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you may have to look for flaxseed oil capsules made with vegetarian or plant-based ingredients.

How to Choose the Best Flaxseed Oil Capsule or Soft Gel

pile of yellow flaxseed oil capsules and soft gels

Due to the popularity of flaxseed oil as a natural health supplement, you can find a wide variety of products to choose from.

Many of the large, multi-national corporations that sell vitamins and nutritional supplements will have their own branded version of flaxseed oil.

However, you can still buy flaxseed oil capsules from smaller companies that specialize in producing and marketing their own brands of natural, organic healthy oils.

In North America, some of the more popular flaxseed oil are made by Natrol, Spectrum, Nature’s Way and Now Foods.

The best flaxseed oil capsule or soft gel should have at least some or all of the following:

  1. Made from organic, non-GMO flax seeds.
  2. Cold-pressed and Unrefined to minimize heat damage of the healthy fatty acids.
  3. Unrefined flaxseed oil should be a golden, yellow color with a mild nutty flavor. Refined oils will be white with no flavor.
  4. Capsules or soft gels should provide a high dosage of pure 100% flaxseed oil with no added ingredients.
  5. The gelatin used to make the soft gel capsules should be Plant-based or Vegan to minimize exposure to animal-based collagen.
  6. Affordably priced

While the overall cost of most flaxseed oil capsules will depend on the overall oil blend, total dosage and amount of soft gels per bottle, we found the average cost for a bottle of 100 capsules of 1000 mg. dosages ranged from $15 – $25 for 1000 mg. soft gels.

It’s recommended you take a closer look at the ingredient label to determine the actual ingredients per single capsules and the cost per capsule.

One of the most popular products on the largest online retailer is Barlean’s Organic Flaxseed Oil Soft gels. A single dosage 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.

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