Flaxseed oil has been used by people for thousands of years. It has many health benefits. From flaxseeds, manufacturers get flaxseed oil. People can cook and bake with the oil.
In this article, you will learn about the health benefits of flaxseed oil, such as lower cholesterol, fewer skin problems, and less inflammation.
We also talk about the risks that might come with using flaxseed oil.
What is oil from flaxseeds?
Flaxseed oil might fight cancer and lower cholesterol.
Flaxseed oil comes from flaxseeds that have been pressed cold to get the oil out of them. Linseed oil is another name for flaxseed oil.
Flaxseed oil can be bought in the form of capsules or as a liquid. It has alpha-linolenic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid (ALA).
The body makes small amounts of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid from ALA, which comes from flaxseed oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for both the body and the mind.
Flaxseed oil doesn’t have the same vitamins and minerals as the whole flaxseed. For example, flaxseeds have fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B, but flaxseed oil does not.
What flaxseed oil can do for you
Even though flaxseed has been studied more than flaxseed oil, some studies on the oil have shown positive results.
There may be some benefits to flaxseed oil, such as:
Getting rid of cholesterol
Flaxseed oil may help lower cholesterol levels in the same way that flaxseed does. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, might go down because of the ALA in flaxseed oil.
In a small study in which 15 adults took part, they ate either flaxseed oil or corn oil once a day with dinner.
At the start of the study and again after 12 weeks, the participants’ cholesterol levels were checked.
The cholesterol levels of those who ate the corn oil didn’t change, but the LDL levels of those who ate the flaxseed oil went down by a lot.
Flaxseed oil might help fight against some kinds of cancer. Even though a clear answer needs a lot more research, some studies on animals are encouraging.
In a study of mice with lung tumours, mice that ate a diet with 10% flaxseed had fewer tumours than mice that ate a diet with no flaxseed.
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil have also been studied for their effects on other types of cancer.
One review of the research shows that in animal studies, the fatty acid in flaxseed oil may slow the growth and size of breast tumours and also help cancer cells die.
How to get rid of atopic dermatitis
Flaxseed oil may also be good for your skin and hair. For example, it may make some of the symptoms of atopic dermatitis go away. Eczema is a long-term skin condition that causes red, itchy skin. Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema.
One study looked at what happened to mice with dermatitis when they ate flaxseed oil. After 3 weeks, the mice had less redness, swelling, and itching, which are all signs of dermatitis.
Getting rid of diabetes
Diabetes may also be less likely to happen if you use flaxseed oil. One systematic review from 2015 looked at studies to find out how flaxseed oil affects people with diabetes.
In one study, 25 people with prediabetes took part. These people were either overweight men or women who were going through menopause. For 12 weeks, they ate either 13 grammes (g) or 26 g of flaxseed every day.
After 12 weeks, the blood sugar levels of people who ate 13 g of flaxseed had gone down. Those who ate more flaxseed didn’t notice any differences.
Researchers don’t know why there were no changes in the high-dose group. People with prediabetes may benefit from flaxseed oil, but bigger and more in-depth studies are needed to make a firm conclusion.
Getting rid of inflammation
In one meta-analysis, C-reactive protein, which is a sign of inflammation, was found to be lower in the blood when flaxseed and its derivatives were used. But these results only showed up in adults who were overweight.
Gas and bloating can be bad side effects of flaxseed oil.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says that small amounts of flaxseed oil are usually safe to eat.
Minor side effects may happen depending on the dose and how each person responds. Some bad things that could happen are:
We don’t know much about whether or not flaxseed oil is safe to eat while pregnant or nursing.
As a food supplement, flaxseed oil is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.
If someone wants to take flaxseed oil for a certain health problem, they should talk to a doctor first to make sure it won’t interact with any other medicines or treatments they are already taking.
A doctor might tell you to stop eating flaxseed a few weeks before surgery.
Flaxseed oil: how to use it
Flaxseed oil is sensitive to light and heat, so it is best to buy it in a dark or opaque glass bottle to protect it from the light and keep it in a cool, dark place.
Flaxseed oil has a mild flavour. People can eat a spoonful by itself or mix it into sauces and dips.
Flaxseed oil can also be used to cook instead of other oils or butter. Flaxseed oil is sensitive to heat, so when you cook with it, the health benefits will change.
People who don’t want to put flaxseed oil in their food can take it as a supplement in capsule form.
Flaxseed oil is not as healthy as flaxseeds in their whole form. But it is still a good source of ALA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. Most side effects are mild and happen rarely.