Like any natural or herbal remedy there is always the worry of flaxseed oil side effects. I decided to investigate if there were any. Before I do that it is worth mentioning that flaxseed oil comes from the flax plant. When the seeds are crushed an oil is produced.
It is this oil that when bottled or put into a capsule becomes the product we can buy off the shelf today. That is therefore what we are discussing in this article. We include in this debate the actual seed form as well.
What Are Flax Seeds?
Flaxseed oil is used as a supplement to provide the human body with a fatty acid known as Omega 3. We can also get this Omega 3 fatty acid from eating fish products. However an important thing to note is that the human body does not naturally produce Omega 3. So one way or the other, it is important to get some source of this.
Therefore we need to get a source from somewhere. Typically this can be done by eating fish once or twice a week. The alternative is by taking fish oil or by taking flaxseed oil. This is therefore an important alternative for people who do not like or eat fish.
Fish is the ideal way to get this fatty acid called Omega-3. However many people just don't like fish. Others are not in the position to be able to afford it on a regular basis. Those of us who do like fish should be aware of the following.
There are various world health warnings about how frequently one should eat fish. This is due to environmental issues and its impact on the fish population. You can check this out yourself of course but the current recommendation is that you should only eat fish once a week. That is just about enough to give us an adequate supply of Omega 3.
That is why I like to supplement my own diet with flaxseed oil. I have used it for around a year. I didn't think a lot about the flaxseed oil side effects initially. I thought it was a natural product and only after six months did I check.
Flaxseed Oil Side Effects Research
The one issue that did come up as a flaxseed oil side effect was this. If you took a large dose of 30g or more, then there was a potential of getting diarrhoea That is interesting as one of the benefits of taking flaxseed oil is that it helps soften stools and can relieve constipation.
That sounds like a dosage issue to me rather than an actual side effect. It would almost certainly put me off taking greater than the recommended dose. The last thing we need is to be out somewhere and have to dash off to the bathroom.
The other interesting fact that I discovered is that there was simply not enough research available to make any real decisions. On the research that has been completed, I was unable to make any definitive announcements about potential side effects. I could not find any conclusive evidence anywhere that supported one side of the argument or the other.
Flax Seed & Pregnancy
For me in a situation like that, there are certain precautions one should take. For example ladies who are pregnant need to be extra careful. I would recommend that they probably shouldn't use it. This would also apply if they are considering getting pregnant.
That is a precautionary measure that would be worthwhile considering. The same advice would apply to ladies who are breast feeding. As with taking any supplement during pregnancy it is worth checking with your doctor just to be sure.
One of the potential flaxseed oil side effects was that it could have a slightly thinning effect on the blood. Therefore if anyone suffers from any type of bleeding disorder they should avoid flaxseed oil.
Even if they are about to go through an operation then they should consult with their doctor or surgeon. In truth little is known as to whether there is evidence of that. To be safe you should avoid flaxseed oil if you fall into this category. I always think it is better to be safe than sorry. This could be a serious flaxseed oil side effect so I would err with a high degree of caution if you have blood problems.
For men, the main concern was from men who had or suspected they had prostrate cancer. The concern was that taking flaxseed oil could worsen their condition. One of the ingredients of flaxseed is alpha-linlenic acid and the fear is that this could worsen the condition.
On the many research studies done on this there was truly a mixed bag. Many studies found no connection. Others found there was no connection at all and no effect. Some others said they had noticed a worsening of the condition. From that it is pretty difficult to be sure but as before if in doubt then don't take flaxseed oil.
The video below is one person's opinion of her experience with Flax seed. Please remember it is her opinion and she does quote from a book. The main thrust of her argument is the oxidisation of the seeds or oil. It is a fact that these seeds do not have a long shelf life.
That is because light and air will cause oxidisation. To avoid that happening store them in a cool, dry and dark place. That prevents oxidisation from happening. Always be very careful of using these after the dates recommended.
Flaxseed Oil Side Effects On The Skin
Some people use flaxseed oil on the skin. Personally I don't but when researching I like to be thorough so I checked for information on that. I could find no definitive research or studies on this so there is nothing really to report. For those who do use it they seemed happy with the results.
The general consensus of all the research was that if flaxseed oil was taken in "reasonable doses" it was unlikely to have any side effects. There was a cautionary note that taking large doses of the flaxseed oil could have some flaxseed oil side effects.
In the main though the main side effects appear to be that taking larger than recommended doses can cause issues with diarrhoea, so it would make a great deal of sense to stick to the doses that are recommended on the product itself. Each product will differ slightly so it is simpler just to follow what has been recommended by the manufacturer.