Flaxseed oil is a health-promoting oil made from flax seeds from a flaxseed plant in which the natural oil is extracted from. It is also referred to as flax oil or linseed oil. The oil requires special packaging since they are easily destroyed by strong heat, light and oxygen. Health practitioners have verified that Flaxseed oil is rich in nutrients that keeps the body healthy. They include Omega-3 fatty acids, it may reduce cancer cell growth, it protects the heart from diseases, reduces diarrhea and dyschezia among other health benefits.
Despite having many health benefits, flaxseed oil may be ineffective in diseases such as bipolar disorder, obesity, high levels of cholesterol or lipids and arthritis. Moreover, it may have side effects on the body.
This article will therefore explore the health benefits of using flaxseed oil, its ineffectiveness and also the side effects.
Health Benefit of Flaxseed Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 are essential fats that one must be included in your diet. They cannot be produced by the body but can only be found in food like fish and flaxseed. These fats are very important to the body, especially the brain. This is the reason why pregnant women are advised to take food rich in omega-3 as it helps in the development of a child.
Flax oil contains about 50-60 percent of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Health experts have established certain amount of ALA everyone should take depending on their age and sex. Omega-3 supplements the body with calories and also helps the heart, blood vessels, the lungs and also boosts the immunity.
Prevent the growth of cancer cells
Overcoming cancer is a great inspiration to every cancer patient. There is some evidence that flax oil helps to reduce the growth of cancer cells. According to research, consuming at least 25g of flaxseed oil a day helps to reduce the growth of breast and prostate cancer. It has also been proven to reduce the production of hormone estrogen which can cause heart attack and stroke.
Other studies have shown the oil helps to block colon cancer in animals. However, more research needs to be conducted to ascertain how to transform the same to humans.
These fats also help to reduce inflammation.
Everyone’s dream is to have healthy skin. Research has shown that flax oil is capable of improving the health of the skin. It keeps the skin smooth and hydrated and reduces skin roughness. It also helps to treat skin condition known as dermatitis, which is a common skin irritation.
Studies have confirmed the benefits of flaxseed oil on heart health. The study ascertained that taking 15ml of flax oil daily for 12weeks incredibly lowers the blood pressure. It does this by improving the elasticity of the arteries hence lowering blood pressure.
Therefore, experts recommend patients with high blood pressure take flax oil for the betterment of their heart.
According to research studies flax oil is said to suppress appetite. Taking it in large quantities causes lack of appetite which may lead to loss of body weight. The lack of appetite is brought by a type of fiber present in flaxseed that when taken it absorbs water in the gut making one to feel full. Hence, if you wish to cut weight flax oil is the solution.
SIDE EFFECTS OF FLAXSEED OIL
May Cause diarrhea and constipation
Flaxseed oil does not have the fiber contained in flaxseed itself. Therefore, taking flax oil may not help to relieve constipation leaving your body with digestion problems. For instance, it can loosen the stool and cause diarrhea.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women
Although health experts say flaxseed oil helps pregnant and breastfeeding women in baby development, it may have adverse effects such as increased risk of premature birth and hormone adjustments.
Peoples’ skin reacts differently when it comes to body consumption products. According to reports, flax oil and flaxseed have chances of causing allergies. It can cause skin irritation, redness and even hives.
Low blood sugar
Use of flaxseed oil may lower blood sugar levels. Consuming it may be harmful to someone with low blood sugar as they need to raise the sugar levels in order to stabilize.
Interaction with other medications
Flax oil has reported some inconveniences when taken with other medications such as aspirin, diclofenac, blood thinners like warfarin and Plavix, insulin among others.
There is a high risk of bleeding for those who have just from surgery. It is therefore recommended not to use the oil two weeks before going for a surgery.
INEFFECTIVENESS OF FLAXSEED OIL
Experts have confirmed that flax oil may not be effective to children with bipolar disorder as it does not have any progress on mania or depression.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Studies have shown that taking flaxseed oil by mouth on a daily basis does not improve the symptoms of pain and stiffness by people with rheumatoid arthritis.
HOW TO USE FLAX OIL
Before taking flaxseed oil, one should consider the amount of fatty acids you take in your diet and under what condition you are taking the flax oil.
- Can be used as a salad oil, drizzled on veggies after cooking or added to sauces.
- Add one tablespoon of flax oil into smoothies or shakes.
- Note that when exposed to high heat it can result in harmful chemicals hence, do not use the oil for cooking or stir the fries when baking.
- Apply it to your skin to moisturize it and keep it healthy.
- It can also be applied on hair as it makes it shiny and promotes growth.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLAXSEED OIL AND FISH OIL
According to reports, both flaxseed oil and fish oil are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for the body. However, there is a small difference between the two.
Flaxseed oil contains Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) which helps to reduce swelling, inflammation and other health benefits. On the other hand fish oil contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). On the contrary ALA has to be converted to EPA and DHA though in small amounts. That is why according to the research, one capsule of fish oil provides almost an equal amount of omega-3 as six capsules of flaxseed oil supplements.
While ALA has proven to have potential health benefits, EPA and DHA have turned out to have more health benefits as compared to ALA. However, a lot of research has been conducted on fish oil and less on flax oil.
FLAX OIL AS AN HAIR PRODUCT
Linseed oil is a very essential product for your hair. It helps to repair broken and damaged hair caused by poor styling. The nutrient composition in it makes it the most preferred hair remedy compared to other products. It is rich in Lignans which acts as a strong antioxidants and Vitamin E which promotes the growth of the hair and prevents hair loss at large. It also enables one to have a healthier and stronger sensation.
Additionally, regular application of flax oil to the hair and scalp prevents flaking and nourishes the scalp thereby reducing dandruff. Studies have also indicated that massaging the hair and scalp with warm flax oil delivers a stronger, glossier and long lasting impression to your hair.
Besides that, the oil helps to deter acne issues on the scalp. It is extremely light which makes it suitable when applying it on the skin.
It also enhances hair elasticity thereby improving the texture of the hair. Linseed oil also helps to condition and moisturize the hair by preventing breakage and split ends leaving the hair much healthier than before.
Despite all these benefits of flax oil on hair, more research is underway to identify more benefits of this product to hair growth.
WHEN TO VISIT A DOCTOR
One should immediately seek medical attention if your body reacts when taking flaxseed oil. If you have any allergic reactions like skin irritation, redness or problems like constipation, diarrhea or heart problems among others, you ought to see a doctor.
Flaxseed oil obtained by grinding and pressing flaxseed has been proven by scientists to have potential health benefits like reducing cancer risk, promoting heart health, improves skin health, aids in weight loss and lowers inflammation among others.
Just like any other products, higher or lower consumption can have positive or negative side effects to the body. It is therefore recommended to take the right dose, as directed by the doctor.
Those planning to go for a surgery, the ones with heart problems, diabetic or even pregnant and breastfeeding women should consider consulting a healthcare provider before taking flaxseed oil for their own safety.
Flax oil is therefore the best product one would think of bearing in mind that it has a lot of benefits ranging from health to hair and skin care. It is also readily available in the market or can be obtained naturally through a simple technique.