What are the flaxseed oil side effects?
Up to the date this article is prepared, serious flaxseed oil side effects have not been reported. High dose flaxseed oil
side effects include non-formed feces, depression, anorexia, mild colic, high serum glucose and bilirubin levels.
[based on animal studies; 21]

Studies have found that eating fish (which contains EPA and DHA) regularly may reduce the risk of macular
degeneration, but a recent study found that diets rich in ALA may substantially increase the risk of this eye disease.
More research is needed. Until then, people with macular degeneration should get omega-3 fatty acids from sources
of EPA and DHA (such as fish or fish oil), rather than ALA. [28]

Although studies have found that eating fish (which contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) regularly may
reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a recent study including 2 large groups of men and women found that diets
rich in ALA may substantially increase the risk of this eye disease. More research is needed. Until then, people with
macular degeneration should get omega-3 fatty acids from sources of EPA and DHA (such as fish or fish oil), rather
than ALA.

Heated Flaxseed oil is not safe and it has serious side effects. The heated flaxseed oil side effects include liver
enlargement or even liver damage. Further, the fume from heated flaxseed oil may cause cancer. [20] During
gestation and lactation, female rats fed with heated flaxseed oil. Newborn rats found dead and their livers were
heavier and higher in lipid content. [22]


[1] Haag M. Essential fatty acids and the brain. Can J Psychiatry. 2003 Apr;48(3):195-203 [2]  Yang L et al alpha-Linolenic acid but not
conjugated linolenic acid is hypocholesterolaemic in hamsters. : Br J Nutr. 2005 Apr;93 (4):433-8. [3] Mozaffarian D. Does alpha-linolenic
acid intake reduce the risk of coronary heart disease? A review of the evidence. Altern Ther Health Med. 2005 May-Jun;11 (3):24-30; quiz
31, 79. [4] Ramaprasad TR et al, Supplementation and delivery of n-3 fatty acids through spray-dried milk reduce serum and liver lipids
in rats. Lipids. 2004 Jul;39(7):627-32. [5] Ristic-Medic D et al, Alpha-linolenic acid* and cardiovascular diseases. Med Pregl. 2003;56
Suppl 1:19-25. *flaxseed oil. [6] Ander BP et al, Dietary flaxseed protects against ventricular fibrillation induced by ischemia-reperfusion
in normal and hypercholesterolemic Rabbits. J Nutr. 2004 Dec;134(12):3250-6. [7] Hansen RA et al, Effects of dietary flaxseed oil
supplementation on equine plasma fatty acid concentrations and whole blood platelet aggregation. J Vet Intern Med. 2002
Jul-Aug;16(4):457-63. [8] Cohen SL et al, Flaxseed oil and inflammation-associated bone abnormalities in interleukin-10 knockout mice.
J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jun;16 (6):368-74. [9] Sankaran D. Modulation of renal injury in pcy mice by dietary fat containing n-3 fatty acids
depends on the level and type of fat. Lipids. 2004 Mar;39(3):207-14. [10] Chen J et al Flaxseed and its components reduce metastasis
after surgical excision of solid human breast tumor in mice. Cancer Lett. 2005 May 2 [11]Rao GN, Effect of melatonin and linolenic acid
on mammary cancer in transgenic mice with c-neu breast cancer oncogene. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2000 Dec;64(3):287-96. [12]
Thompson LU et al, The effect of flaxseed oil may be related to its high alpha-linolenic acid. Carcinogenesis. 1996 Jun;17(6):1373-6. [13]
Haggans CJ The effect of flaxseed and wheat bran consumption on urinary estrogen metabolites in premenopausal women. Cancer
Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000 Jul;9(7):719-25. [14] Dwivedi C et al, Chemopreventive effects of dietary flaxseed oil on colon tumor
development. Nutr Cancer. 2005;51(1):52-8. [15] Alekseeva RI et al, Effects of a diet including linseed oil on clinical and metabolic
parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Vopr Pitan. 2000;69(6):32-5. [16] Jelinska M., Effects of dietary linseed, evening
primrose or fish oils on fatty acid and prostaglandin E2 contents in the rat livers and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced tumours.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Apr 17;1637(3):193-9. [17]  Thuy NT et al, Comparative effect of dietary olive, safflower, and linseed oils* on
spontaneous liver tumorigenesis in C3H/He mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Oct;47(5):363-6. *flaxseed oil [18] Ogborn MR et al,
Dietary flax oil reduces renal injury, oxidized LDL content, and tissue n-6/n-3 FA ratio in experimental polycystic kidney disease. Lipids.
2002 Nov;37(11):1059-65. [19] Takemura N et al, Dietary, but not topical, alpha-linolenic acid suppresses UVB-induced skin injury in
hairless mice when compared with linoleic acids. Photochem Photobiol. 2002 Dec;76(6):657-63. [20] Metayer C. et al Cooking oil fumes
and risk of lung cancer in women in rural Gansu, China. Lung Cancer. 2002 Feb;35(2):111-7. [21]Schumacher J et al, Clinical and
clinicopathologic effects of large doses of raw linseed oil* as compared to mineral oil in healthy horses. J Vet Intern Med. 1997
Sep-Oct;11(5):296-9.*flaxseed oil [22] Potteau B. Influence of heated linseed oil* on reproduction in the female rat and on the
composition of hepatic lipids in young rats Ann Nutr Aliment. 1976;30(1):67-88.*flaxseed oilF [23] Dunbar BL, Bigley KE, Bauer JE. Early
and sustained enrichment of serum n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in dogs fed a flaxseed supplemented diet. Early and
sustained enrichment of serum n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in dogs fed a flaxseed supplemented diet. [24] Mueller RS, et
al, Plasma and skin concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids before and after supplementation with n-3 fatty acids in dogs with
atopic dermatitis. Am J Vet Res. 2005 May;66(5):868-73. [25] Pinheiro MN Jr, et al, Oral flaxseed oil (Linum usitatissimum) in the
treatment for dry-eye Sjögren's syndrome patients Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2007 Jul-Aug;70(4):649-55. [26] Nordström DC, et al,
Alpha-linolenic acid in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized study: flaxseed vs.
safflower seed. Rheumatol Int. 1995;14(6):231-4. [27] Kaithwas G, et al, Therapeutic effect of Linum usitatissimum (flaxseed/linseed)
fixed oil on acute and chronic arthritic models in albino rats. Inflammopharmacology. 2010 Jun;18(3):127-36. [28] University of Maryland
online publication. 2011.
Flaxseed oil benefits, flaxseed oil side effects
December 02, 2011
This website discusses the benefits and side effects of various supplements, herbs and drug products. Different people
may experience different side effects and benefits of a flaxseed oil product. You are encouraged to report adverse side
effects of flaxseed oil or other products to FDA.

There are always new information. Please, send me an email (
zhion@zhion.com) to correct my mistake(s). Reasonable
care has been taken in preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed to be accurate. The
information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is important to seek the advice of a
physician about any benefits and side effects of a flaxseed oil supplement. Finally, please, do not transfer the article to
other website. Thank you. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant, flax plant is believed to have originated in Egypt. Now, flax plant grows throughout Canada and the
northwestern United States. Flaxseed oil comes from flaxseeds.

Flaxseed is popularly used in various food products, because of its nutritional values and potential health benefits. Flaxseed is rich in alpha
linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, as well as fiber and lignans (phytoestrogens), making it a possible functional food for
reducing cardiovascular risk factors. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine spots a study about flaxseed benefits. A
double blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Health System explored the effects of flaxseed on
various cardiovascular risk factors in adults. The study included 62 men and post-menopausal women between the ages of 44 and 75 years.
During the 10-week trial, participants consumed either dosage of 40 grams a day of whole yellow omega flaxseed ground into powder that was
added to baked products or a matching wheat bran product. Participants also followed a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Researchers found flaxseed
positively affected lipoprotein A (Lp(a)) and insulin sensitivity. They also found a modest but short-lived lowering effect in participants' LDL ("bad")
cholesterol levels. However, the researchers also noted that flaxseed significantly lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol levels in men, although not in
women. [nccam.nih.gov]

Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is derived from the hard, tiny seeds of the flax plant. Like fish oil, flaxseed oil contains an omega-3 fatty acid = alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA). In addition to alpha-linolenic acid, flaxseed oil also contains omega-6 fatty acids. Both acids are essential to health. A typical dosage of
flaxseed oil is 1-2 tablespoons, some manufacturers market flaxseed oil in the form of capsules.

How does flaxseed differ from flaxseed oil?
Traditionally, flaxseed is used as a laxative. Flaxseed is also used for hot flashes and breast pain, while flaxseed oil is used for different conditions
than flaxseed including arthritis. Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been used for high cholesterol levels and in an effort to prevent cancer.
Whole or crushed flaxseed can be mixed with water or juice and taken by mouth. Flaxseed is also available in powder form. Flaxseed oil is available
in liquid and capsule form. Flaxseed contains lignans (phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens), while flaxseed oil preparations lack lignans.

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil supplements seem to be well tolerated. Few side effects have been reported. Flaxseed, like any supplemental fiber
source, should be taken with plenty of water; otherwise, it could worsen constipation or, in rare cases, even cause intestinal blockage. Both flaxseed
and flaxseed oil can cause diarrhea. The fiber in flaxseed may lower the body’s ability to absorb medications that are taken by mouth, while flaxseed
oil may increase the absorption of water-insoluble drugs (via improved solubility/microemulsion). Flaxseed or flaxseed oil should not be taken at the
same time as any conventional oral medications or other dietary supplements.

Common Names—flaxseed, linseed;  Latin Name—Linum usitatissimum
Flaxseed oil benefits
Flaxseed oil has been shown benefits on lowering heart diseases by reducing cholesterol levels, high blood pressure
and slowing down atherosclerosis. Flaxseed oil may also benefit people suffered from bipolar disorder, cancer, acne
and rheumatoid arthritis. In this section, we are going to review how flaxseed oil may benefit our health, based on
recent research findings.

It is not sure if flaxseed oil benefits people suffered from arthritis. Oral flaxseed oil reduces the inflammation in
rheumatoid arthritis. [25] However, a study shows 3-month's supplementation with alpha-linolenic acid did not prove to
be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis. [26]

A study was undertaken to assess the activity/anti-inflammatory potential of flaxseed oil against castor oil-induced
diarrhoea, turpentine oil-induced joint oedema, formaldehyde and Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA)-induced
arthritis in Wistar albino rats. The oil intraperitoneally, significantly inhibited the castor oil-induced diarrhoea and
turpentine oil-induced exudative joint oedema in a dose-dependent manner. Significant inhibitory effect of flaxseed oil
was observed in formaldehyde-induced proliferative global oedematous arthritis when given intraperitoneally, with
significant checking of the serum glutamic oxaloacetic acid transaminase and serum glutamic pyruvic acid
transaminase. Further, flaxseed oil showed a significant dose-dependent protective effect against CFA-induced
arthritis as well. These observations suggest possible benefits of flaxseed oil in inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid
arthritis. [28]

Bone Conditions
Dietary level of alpha-linolenic acid (10% flaxseed oil) results in modest improvements in some bone outcomes in a
study of mice. [8] Thus, flaxseed oil may benefit people on bone health.

Cholesterol and Heart Diseases
As discussed before flaxseed oil is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In a study, ALA significantly decreased
hepatic cholesterol but no effect was observed on heart and kidney cholesterol levels. [2] Further, ALA is capable to
alter platelet function and inflammation. [3] A study shows that spray-dried milk formulations supplemented with
flaxseed oil are probably effective to decrease the risk factors associated with
cardiovascular disease. [4] Studies with
rats suggest that alpha-linolenic acid may be more effective in preventing ventricular fibrillations than
eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid. [5] Dietary flaxseed oil exerted antiarrhythmic effects during
ischemia-reperfusion in rabbit hearts, possibly through shortening of the action potential. [6] In healthy horses
supplemented with flaxseed oil, platelet aggregation was not altered. [7] However, flaxseed oil did not increase the
effect of dietary therapy in correction of glycemia, hypertension and atherogenic lipid levels. [15] Overall, intake of
flaxseed oil may benefit people at risk of high cholesterol and certain heart conditions.

Flaxseed oil supplements are also believed to benefit patients suffered from different types of cancers. There are
some animal studies supporting this health claim. The following section summarizes a few exciting studies. Mice were
injected with human breast cancer cells and fed basal diet. Excisions of tumor were performed, when the tumors
reached 110 mm.  Flaxseed oil supplementation was found to achieve a great reduction in lung and total metastases.
[10] In another study, flaxseed oil combined with melatonin caused a significant decrease in the number and size of
tumors in mouses. High doses of flaxseed oil could also delay in the growth of mammary cancers. [11] In a different
study, supplementation with flaxseed oil for 13 weeks after carcinogen administration was found to reduce established
mammary cancer size in rats. [12] In a clinical study of 16 premenopausal women, flaxseed supplementation was
observed to significantly increase the urinary 2:16alpha-OHE1 ratio which indicated flaxseed may be chemoprotective
in premenopausal women. [13] While, flaxseed oil is effective in preventing colon tumor development when compared
with dietary corn oil in rats. [14] And, the PGE2 concentrations were decreased in livers and tumours of rats fed
flaxseed oil. [16] Finally, spontaneous tumorigenesis in the liver of male C3H/He mice bred for 50 wk was suppressed
by being supplied with flaxseed oil. [17] These studies support the health benefit claim of flaxseed in
cancer-prevention to a certain extent.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Flax seed oil, fish oil, and soy bean oil, are commonly recommended supplements for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
(PCOS), as they are believed to benefit people suffered from such conditions. These oils have different chemical
structures and biological actions. It is not yet known which of these oils has the most beneficial effects in PCOS
patients because they have never been compared to each other head to head.[Clinicaltrials.gov]

Psychiatric Conditions
Phospholipase A2 hydrolyzes fatty acids from membrane phospholipids: liberated omega-6 PUFAs are metabolized to
prostaglandins with a higher inflammatory potential. Intervention trials in human subjects show that omega-3 fatty
acids have possible positive effects or benefits in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. [1] Anyway, more
scientific supports are needed for this claim.

Renal Diseases or Injuries
Flaxseed oil slowed down early fibrosis progression in renal injury of mice. [9] In a study of rats, flaxseed oil feeding
produced hepatic and renal enrichments of n-3 PUFA and an increase in C18:>C18 PUFA ratios. The flaxseed
oil-based diet was associated with lower mean cystic. Thus, flaxseed oil feeding moderates renal injury and the
consumption of flaxseed oil-based products may provide health benefit. [18]

Skin Conditions
Anti-inflammatory activity of dietary flaxseed oil was demonstrated in UVB-irradiated hairless mice. UVB-induced
prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production was significantly lower in rats fed an ALA-rich (flaxseed oil) diet after UVB
irradiation. [19] Thus, people believe flaxseed oil benefits on skin conditions.
Sjögren's syndrome
In a study of 38 female patients with rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erithematosus associated with keratoconjunctivitis sicca and Sjögren's
syndrome, therapy with oral dosage of flaxseed oil capsules 1 or 2 g/day reduces ocular surface inflammation and ameliorates the symptoms of
keratoconjunctivitis sicca in Sjögren's syndrome patients. [25]

flaxseed oil hair
No scientific report about how flaxseed oil benefits on hair is found. [as of September 28, 2011]

Flaxseed oil weight loss
No scientific article reports how flaxseed oil directly helps weight loss. [as of September 28, 2011]

Flaxseed oil for dogs
Though there are many websites suggesting to feed dogs with flaxseed oil; there are actually only a few scientific studies on dogs. A study was
conducted in dogs to assess n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid incorporation after feeding an ALA-rich flaxseed supplemented diet for 84
days. Enrichment of ALA, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid n-3 (DPAn-3) in the FLX-group occurred early on (day 4) in both
phospholipids and triacylglycerol fractions but no docosahexaenoic acid was found, consistent with data from other species including humans. In
contrast, no accumulation of DPAn-3 was seen in serum-cholesteryl esters, suggesting that this fatty acid does not participate in
reverse-cholesterol transport. [23] More studies are needed to see how the flaxseed oil benefits dogs.

Dosage of flaxseed oil used in one dog study is about 200 mg/kg/d. [24]