Flaxseed comes from the flaxseed plant. It is available as a seed, in the form of a liquid or powder and can be taken with water or juice. It is also known as linseed. It contains lignan, a plant form of estrogen, which may affect estrogen-sensitive conditions. Flaxseed has been known to work as a laxative.
Flaxseed oil comes from the flaxseed and is available as a liquid or as a softgel. It is also known as linseed oil.
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil are referred to as complimentary and alternative treatment options. They form the omega-3 fatty acid, which is believed to affect lipid levels, lower blood pressure and benefit heart disease. It is reported that they may have some benefit in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, ADHD and HIV/AIDS, but no scientific studies were found to support these claims.
The scientific position on the beneficial or harmful effect on prostate cancer and breast cancer is controversial. Further study is necessary before a conclusion can be made.
Will I live longer if I take flaxseed or flaxseed oil?
There is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that flaxseed or flaxseed oil will help you live longer.
Will taking flaxseed or flaxseed oil improve my quality of life?
There is evidence that flaxseed works as a laxative, which can relieve constipation and may improve your quality of life. There is no scientific evidence that flaxseed oil will improve your quality of life.
Will taking flaxseed or flaxseed oil make my symptoms better?
There is evidence that flaxseed works as a laxative, which can relieve constipation and make your symptoms better. There is no scientific evidence that flaxseed oil will make your symptoms better.
How safe is this for me?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary.
Minor reported complications:
Major reported complications:
Warnings for flaxseed and flaxseed oil:
Warnings for flaxseed:
More research is needed to compare safety and effectiveness with other medically recommended treatments.
Cost will depend on the manufacturer and form of distribution.
Seek the advice of your physician when considering any kind of complementary and alternative treatment choice.
The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.
The following are off-site links :
MayoClinic. (2011, October). Flaxseed and flaxseed oil (linum usitatissimum). Retrieved August 8, 2012 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/flaxseed/NS_patient-flaxseed.
MedlinePlus. (2011, August). Flaxseed. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-flaxseed.html
National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. (2010, July). Flaxseed and flaxseed oil – linum usitatissimum. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/flaxseed/index.htm.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2006, November). Department of Health and Human Services. Response letter for vegetarian DHA flax oil. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/97s0163/97s-0163-let0912-vol27.pdf.
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