The Benefits of Flaxseed Oil

Published: 16th April 2009
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You may be surprised about how healthful flaxseed oil really is! It seems almost like a panacea - flaxseed oil has been used to treat practically any and all ailments. If you are experiencing any of the problems listed below, you may want to consider taking flaxseed oil. Of course, talk with a doctor before taking flaxseed oil for an extended period of time - realize that there are possible side effects.

Flax seed oil is useful for healing scars, abrasions and also has anti-inflammatory properties and so is useful for inflamed skin or skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema. Flax seed oil is also useful for dry skin.

Many skin problems today such as acne, eczema and psoriasis may also be partly due to the fact that the modern diet is lacking in omega 3 essential fatty acids. As a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids flax seed is able to replenish the correct body levels of these fats and so benefit skin disorders that may result from a deficiency.

Flax seed oil is useful for those with a sensitive stomach. Many people may have gone through heavy medical treatment for stomach ulcers, indigestion and other health conditions associated with the digestive system. Well, here's a piece of good news for all those people: consume flax seed oil or omega 3 food sources and say good bye to stomach problems. Flax seed oil helps to lubricate stomach walls and absorbs toxic substances produced through the intake of tea, drugs, tobacco and some harmful carbonated drinks. Generally it is recommended to take at least 2-3 doses of flax seeds or flax seed oil daily.

If you are not a strict vegan, fish oil is your best choice for supplementation. It stimulates blood circulation and increases the breakdown of fibrin, a compound involved in clot and scar formation. Fish oil has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Regular intake reduces the risk of heart attacks. Benefit has been noted in people with rheumatoid arthritis, due to its natural anti-inflammatory activity.

Antioxidants destroy free radicals that cause cell and immune damage and increase the risk of cancer. Lignans are believed to have antioxidant properties, and flax seed oil has up to 800% more lignans than other grains and vegetables.

More than half of flax seed oil by weight consists of EPA, so one of the benefits of flax seed oil is that your body's requirement of omega-3 is well covered. (Other good non-fish sources of omega-3 include kiwifruit, cowberry or lingonberry, assai palm fruit, and purslane.)

DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. Studies have shown that supplementation improves conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity, anxiety and depression. It may be beneficial for preventing Alzheimer's as the fat is needed to form brain cell membranes. Without DHA, brain cells are easily damaged.

Are flaxseed supplements available?

Yes, flaxseed supplements are widely available and come in oil form, ground seeds, or whole seeds. Ask your doctor which form will work best for you. Many nutritionists say that the ground seeds are better because it still has all of its fiber. Some nutritionists suggest that whole seeds are likely to be undigested in your body, and that oil, on the other hand, has lost the fiber. Still, it is a matter of what is best for your body. People with diverticulosis, for example, may get irritated by ground flaxseed and may be better off with flaxseed oil.

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