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Does Flaxseed Oil Lower Cholesterol

Which Flaxseed Oil Capsule Is Best

Is Flaxseed Good for Lowering Cholesterol? Does Flaxseed Help Lower LDL Cholesterol? Benefits & Uses

Fresh, whole flaxseed generally lasts for up to a year in an opaque, airtight container kept in the refrigerator. In the same type of container, ground flaxseed usually lasts for about six months in the freezer. You should always keep flaxseed oil in an opaque bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Whole Ground Seeds Vs Oil

Similar to whole ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil does not raise or lower triglyceride levels, according to MedlinePlus. Harvard Health Publications suggests that heart-healthy ALA is more concentrated in flaxseed oil compared with flaxseeds. However, the same source notes that flaxseeds provide additional health benefits from heart-healthy dietary fiber and lignans — and may help protect against cancer. Ground whole flaxseeds are also lower in calories than flaxseed oil, which can aid in weight loss. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight reduces high triglyceride levels by about 20 percent, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Buying And Storing Flaxseeds

Because flaxseed, flaxseed meal, and flaxseed oil are all light-sensitive and can degrade with prolonged exposure to light, make sure you look for opaque packaging in the products you buy and read the recommended use by dates on the labels carefully.

Thankfully, whole flax seeds can keep at room temperature for up to a year, but once theyre ground, the flaxseed meal should be used as soon as possible. Flaxseed oil can also go rancid if not used efficiently. Try to purchase smaller amounts of oil and pre-ground meal, and use what you grind in a short amount of time.

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What Is Flaxseed Oil

For a more concentrated dose of all the benefits flaxseed has to offer, many people rely on flaxseed oil, which is extracted oil from the seed. Since its an oil, its richer than ground flaxseed, but its a wonderful supplement on its own.

One teaspoon of flaxseed oil contains 40 calories. Not only can flaxseed oil be consumed, but it can be used directly on the skin to balance out minor skin problems, as well.

The Bottom Line On Flaxseed Oil

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Flaxseed oil will give your diet a nice little omega-3 boost in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. You might try adding flaxseed oil to your salad dressing. But flaxseed oils a backup, not a substitute, for the omega-3s in fish and fish oil because of the conversion factor. If youre in need of omega-3s but are concerned about mercury, salmon, pollock, and catfish are all low in mercury. And canned light tuna tends to be lower in mercury than albacore tuna.

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Changes In Blood Lipid Concentrations

The results for total cholesterol were reported in 36 comparisons from 28 studies representing 1548 participants , whereas blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations were shown in 35 comparisons from 27 studies including 1471 subjects . Because the test for heterogeneity was significant for total cholesterol and marginally significant for LDL cholesterol , we reported the results from random-effects models. For the overall population, total cholesterol decreased by 0.10 mmol/L , and LDL cholesterol decreased by 0.08 mmol/L in the intervention groups compared with the control arms.

Net changes in LDL cholesterol associated with flaxseed intervention expressed as the change during the intervention with flaxseed or its derivatives minus the change during the control regimens. WMD, weighted mean difference Random, random-effects model. The horizontal lines denote the 95% CIs, some of which extend beyond the limits of the scales. The square represents the point estimate of each study. The diamond represents the overall pooled estimate of the treatment effect. Overall, LDL cholesterol decreased by 0.08 mmol/L in the intervention groups compared with the control arms.

How Does Flaxseed Affect Testosterone

While there may be some situations in which flaxseed will lower testosterone, its effects are more complex . Hormone levels overall can be affected by diet and exercise, of course. The impact of flaxseed on testosterone might be more complex.

Flaxseed is one of the biggest sources of lignans, a variety of compounds found in many plants . In your stomach, helpful bacteria turn lignans into two compounds of a type called enterolignans, which are named enterodiol and enterolactone.

Both compounds are similar to estrogen in some ways. It might be the ratio of testosterone level to estrogen level, not just the amount of testosterone, that makes a difference . Adding enterolignans could swing the balance too far toward the estrogen side .

An imbalance in the ratio has been linked to things like:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Weight gain

Enterolignans arent estrogen and can take up resources that would otherwise be used to make more of that hormone. This is particularly relevant as testosterone can be turned into estrogen. As a result, their role isnt so clear-cut. In fact, flaxseeds may actually have the opposite effect, lowering the risk for the problems listed above.

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Theres No Mercury To Worry About And Flaxseed Oil Does Contain Omega

Troll the medical literature, and youll come up with study after study showing that fish and fish oil are good for us, especially for our hearts but maybe also for our moods and immune systems. Various epidemiologic investigations have found that people who eat fish regularly are less likely to have heart attacks, suffer strokes, or die from sudden cardiac arrest. The definition of regularly varies, but it usually means at least a couple of times a week, although eating fish even once a month has been shown to make a difference.

Fish, and especially fish oil, have also been the subject of dozens of randomized clinical trials, most involving people with existing heart conditions. In large amounts , fish oil has been shown to nudge various cardiac risk factors in the right direction.

Could Benefit Heart Health

Best Flaxseed Oil Benefits | Cancer Prevention – Reduce Cholesterol

Several studies have found that flaxseed oil could benefit heart health.

One study in 59 people compared the effects of flaxseed oil to those of safflower oil, a type of oil high in omega-6 fatty acids.

In this study, supplementing with one tablespoon of flaxseed oil for 12 weeks led to significantly lower blood pressure levels than supplementing with safflower oil .

High blood pressure can harm heart health, as it places extra strain on the heart, forcing it to work harder.

Flaxseed oil may also improve the elasticity of the arteries. Both aging and increased blood pressure are generally linked to decreases in elasticity .

These benefits are likely due to the high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil, as supplementing with it has been shown to significantly increase the amount of omega-3s in the blood .

Whats more, numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids improve heart health, with benefits such as reduced inflammation and lower blood pressure .

Summary: Some studies have shown that flaxseed oil could improve heart health by reducing blood pressure and increasing the elasticity of the arteries.

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Food And Nutrient Intake

Dietary intake in CO and FO periods is shown in Table . At 0 week, no significant differences in total energy, protein, carbohydrate, fat, dietary fiber or alcohol intake were observed between the periods.

Table 3 Dietary intakes of foods and nutrients in corn oil and flaxseed oil periods

Previous report showed that LDL particle size was influenced by TG concentrations . To elucidate the effect of baseline TG concentrations, we divided subjects into two groups according to TG concentrations. Except for TG concentrations, there were no significant differences between the TG> 100 mg/dl group and the TG< 100 mg/dl group at baseline , although sdLDL concentrations tended to be different . Among subjects with TG concentrations of > 100 mg/dl, FO supplementation led to 28.2% and 28.9% reductions in sd-LDL concentrations at 4 and 12 weeks compared with 0 week, respectively, and sd-LDL concentrations significantly differed between the periods at both 4 and 12 weeks . However, among subjects with TG concentration of < 100 mg/dl, sd-LDL concentrations did not differ between FO or CO supplementation at any time point, but were significantly lower at 4 weeks in the FO period compared with 0 week .

Flaxseed Lowers High Cholesterol In Men Study Suggests

Iowa State University
A new study may give men a way to combat high cholesterol without drugs — if they don’t mind sprinkling some flaxseed into their daily diet.

A new study from Iowa State University’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center may give men a way to combat high cholesterol without drugs — if they don’t mind sprinkling some flaxseed into their daily diet.

Suzanne Hendrich, an ISU professor in food science and human nutrition, led a study that examined the effects of flaxseed lignan in 90 people diagnosed with high cholesterol. The results showed that consuming at least 150 milligrams of flaxseed lignans per day decreased cholesterol in men, but not women, by just under 10 percent over the three months that they were given the flaxseed.

While Hendrich admits that’s considerably less than the expected outcome from cholesterol-lowering drugs — approximately 10 to20 percent for three months, depending on the individual — it’s still enough to make flaxseed a more natural option for some men.

“Because there are people who can’t take something like Lipitor, this could at least give you some of that cholesterol-lowering benefit,” Hendrich said. “The other thing is, there are certainly some people who would prefer to not use a drug, but rather use foods to try to maintain their health. So this potentially would be something to consider.”

Americans suffer from high blood cholesterol

No cholesterol-lowering effect in women

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Adverse Effects And Drug Interactions

The Food and Drug Administration allows inclusion of up to 12% flaxseed in foods, but flaxseed and cold-pressed flaxseed oil have not attained GRAS status.

There are no known or suspected adverse effects or interactions with flaxseed oil however, the fiber and lignan components of flax may cause some problems. Human studies using up to 50 g flaxseed per day for up to one month revealed no adverse effects and that flaxseed was well-tolerated in one study.13 This same study noted a 30% increase in bowel movements with this flaxseed supplementation. Thus, clinicians may want to avoid recommending flaxseed for patients with a history of bowel obstruction, or in some patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, the small whole seeds could theoretically precipitate a bout of diverticulitis and probably should be avoided by patients with known diverticular disease. Grinding the seeds should remove this theoretical risk.

There is no published evidence concerning the safety of flax in pregnancy or lactation. However, flax has potential hormonal effects, which may result from bioactive lignans binding to estrogen receptors. There are no published reports of drug interactions. Because of their fiber content, flaxseed products probably should not be co-administered with prescription drugs to avoid interference with drug absorption.

Data Extraction And Quality Assessment

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Study characteristics and blood lipid data were extracted independently by 2 assessors and tabulated for analysis. Likewise, study quality was independently assessed by using the Jadad score level-of-evidence rating for RCTs . The score included randomization, blinding, description of withdrawals and dropouts, methods of randomization, and double-blinding status. The total score was the sum of the 5 points, which generated a scale from 0 to 5 higher numbers represented better quality. Other aspects, such as funding source and geographic locations of the studies, were also indicated.

For continuous outcomes in parallel studies, the means and SDs of changes from baseline to endpoint were extracted. In crossover studies, the means and SDs were used separately on interventions and controls. This step provided a conservative estimate of the effects and reduced the power of the crossover studies to show real influences of the interventions. For all data, SDs were calculated from SEs or CIs, whenever it was necessary, and the data were also estimated from the figures if no numerical forms were presented. For those with missing SDs for the changes, the average of the SDs of the initial and endpoint of relevant biomarkers was adapted in the analysis . In addition, the change-from-baseline SDs were also imputed by using correlation coefficient methods referenced in the Cochrane Handbook .

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Is Flaxseed Oil Good For Hair

When applied to your hair, any type of plant-based oil may help seal the cuticle, which helps prevent breakage and frizz for optimal growth. Flaxseed oil offers even more specific benefits based on its overall nutritional profile. The following ingredients can offer specific benefits for your hair: Omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat More Plant Sources Of Protein

Excellent plant proteins include beans all beans, like lentils, red beans, pinto beans, and soybeans. Rather than raising blood cholesterol levels, as animal sources of protein do, beans actually help lower cholesterol.

Beans also help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.

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How Much Flax Seed Do You Need

Generally speaking, 1-2 tablespoons of ground or milled flax seed per day is safe for most adults. Ground flax seeds are recommended over flax seed oil.

2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds contain 80 calories, 0.5g saturated fat, 3.5g PUFA, 1g MUFA, and 4g fiber.

If you dont like fish, but want to boost your intake of omega-3 fats, flax seed can be a valuable addition to your diet, to help decrease your risk of heart disease.

A few quick serving ideas:

  • Sprinkle ground flax seeds on hot or cold cereal, or natural yogurt.

  • Add them to breakfast shakes or smoothies.

  • Sprinkle them onto cooked vegetables, or add them to a salad.

  • Use ground flax seeds as a substitute for eggs in baked recipes.

  • Flax seed oil can be used as the base of homemade salad dressings.

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What About Supplements

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It’s a good idea to steer clear of supplements, such as red yeast rice, that claim cholesterol-lowering benefits. While red yeast rice has been particularly touted as being as effective as statins, it also carries many of the same risks, including kidney, muscle and liver problems, Dr. Steinbaum says.

You also have no idea what you’re getting: A June 2017 study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that amounts of the key ingredient, monacolin K, are all over the map. “It’s better to start on a statin and revisit whether or not you need to continue taking it after a couple of years, especially if you’ve already successfully implemented lifestyle strategies like losing weight and eating a healthy diet,” Dr. Steinbaum says.

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How To Take It

The dose depends on how much fatty acids you get in your diet and which condition you are taking flaxseed oil for.


Talk to your doctor or pediatrician before giving flaxseed oil to a child under 18.


There is no recommended dose for flaxseed oil. The best dose for you depends on a number of factors and should be determined in consultation with your doctor.

Flaxseed oil is often used in a liquid form, which contains approximately 7 grams of ALA per 15 mL , and contains about 130 calories.

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What To Look For

You may find flaxseed oil in the refrigerated section of your health food store or on store shelves. Some brands add antioxidants to make their products shelf-stable, meaning they don’t need refrigeration until opened.

Once opened, all flaxseed oil must be refrigerated.

Look for cold-pressed oil packaged in an opaque bottle to protect it from the light. The oil should be a clear or golden-yellow color. Some oils, known as high-lignan oils, contain particles of ground flaxseed and may appear to have dirt or grit in it, which is normal.

Fresh flaxseed oil has a mild, nutty aroma reminiscent of sunflower or sesame seeds and tastes crisp and mildly nutty. Oil that is cloudy, smells fishy or like fried oil, or has a bitter or burnt flavor is rancid and should not be used. If you notice this or the product is past its expiration date, throw it out.

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Study Identification And Selection

Two researchers independently searched PubMed , the Cochrane Library , clinicaltrials.gov , the World Health Organization ICTRP , and the ProQuest Digital Dissertations Database for English-language reports of clinical trials published from January 1990 to October 2008 and studies describing the effects of flaxseed or its derivatives in adult humans were selected. The key words flax* OR linseed* OR lignan* OR Linum usitatissimum, with the constraints noted above, were used in the literature search. Bibliographies of selected studies and relevant reviews were checked to ensure a complete collection. Attempts were also made to contact investigators for unpublished data. Studies were chosen for analysis if they met the following criteria: 1) the subjects consumed flaxseed or its derivatives for > 2 wk 2) the study was an RCT with either a parallel or crossover design 3) the study reported the dose of flaxseed, lignans, or ALA when whole or ground flaxseed, lignan supplement, or flaxseed oil were administered, respectively 4) the effects of flaxseed or its derivatives on lipid profiles could be extracted from the report and 5) the control regimen did not contain phytoestrogens, ALA, fish oil, or hormone replacements. According to these criteria, a total of 30 citations were identified .

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Flaxseed Oil Is Useful In Managing Eczema

Does Flaxseed Oil Reduce Cholesterol?

People who suffer with eczema experience a medical condition where areas of their skin becomes inflamed and rough sometimes developing itchy, painful blisters.

Occasionally this is a reaction to something external, but often eczema has no apparent cause.

Eczema can be painful, but it is almost always uncomfortable .

Studies show that low levels of key nutrients directly contribute to some of these symptoms, like dry itchy skin.

A deficiency in alpha linolenic acid resulted in patients having poor skin health, but this was helped by treatment with ALA-rich foods.

In all of the test subjects a two to four week treatment regimen of an increase in omega-3 acids normalized the health of their skin .

Adding flaxseed oil to your diet can increase your levels of ALA, thus improving your skin health.

The fatty acids found in flaxseed oil work to decrease inflammation in your skin and help to promote the regeneration of skin cells .

To reduce the areas of skin covered in rashes as well as to heal wounds caused by scratching and irritated skin, flaxseed products have proven effective in both animal and human studies.

The flaxseed products work to heal and remodel skin cells .

This is thought to be the result of flaxseed oil lowering the levels of saturated fatty acid found in skin cells .

Though both groups of women saw improvement in the moisture and softness of their skin, only the group being supplemented with flaxseed oil had long term benefits in the health of their skin.

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