Linseed oil

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Linseed (Flaxseed) oil is obtained from the seeds of a plant called Linum usitatissimum or flax. It contains both omega-3 and omega-6, which are beneficial to health. Flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic essential fatty acid (ALA) that the body converts into eincosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil.

Some researchers believe that flaxseed oil may have some of the benefits of fish oil, but the body fails to effectively convert alpha-linolenic essential fatty acid into eincosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. In addition, in this case, the benefits of alpha-linolenic essential fatty acid, eincosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid are not the same. Omega-3 from fish oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and help prevent certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. Results of studies on the effects of the oil in the same conditions are divided.

It is very important for everyone to have a balanced level of omega-3 and omega-6 obtained from the diet. These essential fats are examples of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, while omega-6 fatty acids tend to contribute to the inflammation.

A healthy diet should include about 2-4 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds, but not in oil, contain a number of chemicals called lignans, which plays an important role in preventing cancer.


1. Overview
2. Other uses of flaxseed
3. Dietary sources of flaxseed oil
4. Directions
5. Precautions

Other uses of flaxseeds

Clinical studies suggest that flax oil and omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in treating various conditions such as:

- High cholesterol – People who have a Mediterranean diet will tend to have HDL cholesterol or a higher good cholesterol. Mediterranean diet focuses on eating fish and healthy fats such as olive oil, and requires a healthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6. Whole grains, legumes and green vegetables, fruits, chicken and fish, olive oil and canola are part of the Mediterranean diet. Of this diet are excluded red meat and saturated fat.

- Heart disease – A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and vegetables can reduce recurrence of heart disease. One of the best ways to prevent and treat heart disease is to follow a diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseeds and fish oil).

Evidence suggests that people who eat a diet rich in alpha-linolenic essential fatty acid are less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack. Alpha-linolenic essential fatty acid may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in a variety of ways, including increasing the number of platelets and reduce inflammation, encourage healthy blood vessels and reduces the risk of arrhythmias. Several studies on humans suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic essential fatty acid, can lower blood pressure. However it is unclear whether the use of flaxseed supplements would have the same effect on heart health.

- Sjogren syndrome – Preliminary evidence suggests that consumption of 1-2 grams of flaxseed daily can improve dry eye symptoms in people with Sjogren’s syndrome.

- Cancer – Studies suggest that flaxseed oil could help prevent breast tumor growth. According to some research, the scientists have found that flaxseed oil may prevent the development of mammary tumors, probably due to compound alpha-linolenic essential fatty acid.

Dietary sources of flaxseed oil

Linseed oil is obtained from the seeds of the plant. It contains 50-60% omega-3 fatty acids as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), contains more than fish oil. However, the body fails to convert as efficiently ALA omega-3 fatty acids that those found in fish oils. As such, ALA from flaxseed does not offer the same benefits as ecosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish oil.

Flaxseed oil is available as a liquid or capsule gelation. Like any oil, it may rancid if not kept in the refrigerator. Flaxseed oil requires special packaging because it is easily damaged by heat, light and oxygen. Products of the highest quality flaxseeds are obtained by pressing fresh seeds, processed at low temperatures, which are stored in containers that are closed tightly, away from light, extreme heat or oxygen.


Dose will be based on the amount of fatty acids that are part of your diet and the condition for the use of flaxseed oil.

Children – Ask your doctor before you give flaxseed oil to children under 18.

For adults – There are no dose recommendations for consumption of flaxseed oil.


Because of potential side effects and interactions with some medications, you should take supplements only under medical supervision. Flaxseed may slow the absorption of orally administered drugs or other nutrients if used simultaneously. Try to avoid taking flaxseeds at the same time as medicines or food supplements.

People with diabetes or schizophrenia may not convert ALA into EPA and DHA, the forms easy to use in the body. People who suffer from various conditions should obtain the omega-3 fatty acids rich in EPA and DHA from food sources (such as fish).

Although studies have found that regular consumption of fish (which contains omega-3 EPA and DHA) may reduce risk of macular degeneration, a recent study found that diets rich in ALA may substantially increase the risk of developing this condition. Therefore, more studies are needed. Until then, people with macular degeneration, should assimilate omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as EPA or DHA (such as fish or fish oil) rather than from ALA.



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