Flax seed oil, which is also called linseed, but not to be confused with what you buy at the hardware store, is rich in good essential fatty acids or Omega 3s. This oil contains the amazing Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), an antioxidant that fights free radicals throughout the entire body that causes aging and cellular damage and protects against a host of diseases. Dr. Burt Berkson, consultant to the CDC and one of the world’s foremost authorities on ALA and its intravenous use, states that “…There may be no stronger antioxidant than alpha lipoic acid. This remarkable coenzyme, which occurs naturally in younger bodies but gradually diminishes with age, may very well be one of our best defenses against disease and aging.” He also states that ALA has the ability to salvage and recycle other antioxidants (vitamins C and E, glutathione) as well and treat oxidative stress (or “rust” in the body) and neutralize potentially dangerous chemicals that trigger cancer genes.
Flaxseed has been used for more than 7,000 years and it has been used to treat everything from inflammation to heart disease to hormone imbalances. Just 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil a day is equal to more than twice the amount most people get daily. The oil can be applied to the body where there is inflammation, carpal tunnel or skin disease. The flax seeds are also available and contain Omega 6s in the form of linoleic acid. They are a great source of lignans or phytoestrogens which can help to balance the estrogen-progesterone ratio. Both the oil and the seed are great to add to a morning smoothie and I really like the Trader Joe Organic Flax Oil.
Here are 10 reasons to Use Flax Seed Oil:
- Hormone imbalances – This essential fatty acid has been shown to block excess prostaglandins, or hormones which can cause heavy bleeding during menstruation. Hot flashes, uterine function, urination, impotence, inflammation of the prostate, endometriosis
- Infertility – Conception rates increase, miscarriages decrease
- Diabetes Mellitus, more research here
- Anti-inflammatory – carpal tunnel, arthritis and joint inflammation, back pain
- Heart disease
- Cancer – The Budwig Center has a flaxseed oil and cottage cheese protocol that has been extremely effective against cancer. Read more here.
- Mushroom poisoning – Read more about Dr. Burt Berkson saving patients who ate poisonous mushrooms using intravenous ALA in his book.
- Radiation poisoning with vitamin E –Prophylactic effect of flaxseed oil against radiation-induced hepatotoxicity in mice; Dietary flaxseed prevents radiation-induced oxidative lung damage, inflammation and fibrosis in a mouse model of thoracic radiation injury. Dr. David Brownstein is an expert on iodine and says this: “If there is enough inorganic, non-radioactive iodine in our bodies, the radioactive fallout has nowhere to bind in our bodies. It will pass through us, leaving our bodies unharmed. It is important to ensure that we have adequate iodine levels BEFORE this fallout hits.” To read more about iodine, see my post here.
- Liver Disease and Hepatitis
- And other possibilities…Chelates: mercury, arsenic, effects of chemotherapy and other metals; acne, eczema and other skin diseases, cataracts, constipation, gut disorders, gall and kidney stones, autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s disease and other viruses and bacteria.
Below are many references to research provided by the Memorial Sloan Ketterig Cancer Center:
- Haggans CJ, Hutchins AM, Olson BA, Thomas W, Martini MC, Slavin JL. Effect of flaxseed consumption on urinary estrogen metabolites in postmenopausal women. Nutrition & Cancer. 1999;33:188-95.
- Clark WF, Kortas C, Heidenheim AP, Garland J, Spanner E, Parbtani A. Flaxseed in lupus nephritis: a two-year nonplacebo-controlled crossover study. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2001;20:Suppl-8.
- Hutchins AM, Martini MC, Olson BA, Thomas W, Slavin JL. Flaxseed influences urinary lignan excretion in a dose-dependent manner in postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2000;9:1113-8.
- Phipps WR, Martini MC, Lampe JW, Slavin JL, Kurzer MS. Effect of flax seed ingestion on the menstrual cycle. J Clin Endocrinol.Metab 1993;77:1215-9.
- Chen J, Stavro PM, Thompson LU. Dietary flaxseed inhibits human breast cancer growth and metastasis and downregulates expression of insulin-like growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor. Nutrition & Cancer. 2002;43:187-92.
- Lin X, Gingrich JR, Bao W, Li J, Haroon ZA, Demark-Wahnefried W. Effect of flaxseed supplementation on prostatic carcinoma in transgenic mice. Urology 2002;60:919-24.
- Yan L, Yee JA, Li D, McGuire MH, Thompson LU. Dietary flaxseed supplementation and experimental metastasis of melanoma cells in mice. Cancer Letters. 1998;124:181-6.
- Demark-Wahnefried W, Price DT, Polascik TJ, Robertson CN, Anderson EE, Paulson DF et al. Pilot study of dietary fat restriction and flaxseed supplementation in men with prostate cancer before surgery: exploring the effects on hormonal levels, prostate-specific antigen, and histopathologic features. Urology 2001;58:47-52.
- Thompson LU, Chen JM, Li T, Strasser-Weippl K, Goss, PE. Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2005;11(10):3828-3835.
- Lemay A, Dodin S, Kadri N, Jacques H, Forest JC. Flaxseed dietary supplement versus hormone replacement therapy in hypercholesterolemic menopausal women. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2002;100:495-504.
- Johansson G, Andersson G, Attstom R, Edwardsson S. Oral mucous membrane flora in patients using saliva substitutes. Gerodontology. 2000;17:87-90.
- Pan A, Sun J, Chen Y, et al. Effects of a flaxseed-derived lignan supplement in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial. PLoS ONE 2007;2(11):e1148.
- Zhang W, Wang X, Liu Y, et al. Dietary flaxseed lignan extract lowers plasma cholesterol and glucose concentrations in hypercholesterolaemic subjects.Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1301-9.
- Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Vidgen E, Agarwal S, Rao AV, Rosenberg RS et al. Health aspects of partially defatted flaxseed, including effects on serum lipids, oxidative measures, and ex vivo androgen and progestin activity: a controlled crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69:395-402.
- Cunnane SC, Hamadeh MJ, Liede AC, Thompson LU, Wolever TM, Jenkins DJ. Nutritional attributes of traditional flaxseed in healthy young adults. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61:62-8.
- Leon F, Rodriguez M, Cuevas M. Anaphylaxis to Linum. Allergologia et Immunopathologia. 2003;31:47-9.
- Petty DR,.Mannion RA. A case of multiple linseeds mimicking polyposis coli on double contrast barium enema. Clinical Radiology. 2003;58:87-8.
- Ranich T, Bhathena SJ, Velasquez MT. Protective effects of dietary phytoestrogens in chronic renal disease. Journal of Renal Nutrition. 2001;11:183-93.
- Nesbitt PD, Lam Y, Thompson LU. Human metabolism of mammalian lignan precursors in raw and processed flaxseed. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69:549-55.
- Brooks JD, Ward WE, Lewis JE, et al. Supplementation with flaxseed alters estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women to a greater extent than does supplementation with an equal amount of soy. Am J Clin Nutr 2004 Feb;79(2):318-25.
- Dahl WJ, Lockert EA, Cammer AL, et al. Effects of flax fiber on laxation and glycemic response in healthy volunteers. J Med Food. 2005 Winter;8(4):508-11.
- Nowak DA, Snyder DC, Brown AJ, Demark-Wahnefried W. The Effect of Flaxseed Supplementation on Hormonal Levels Associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Case Study. Curr Top Nutraceutical Res. 2007;5(4):177-181.
- Sturgeon SR, Heersink JL, Volpe SL, et al. Effect of dietary flaxseed on serum levels of estrogens and androgens in postmenopausal women. Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(5):612-8.
- Demark-Wahnefried W, Polascik TJ, George SL, et al. Flaxseed supplementation (not dietary fat restriction) reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men presurgery. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Dec;17(12):3577-87.
- Fukumitsu S, Aida K, Shimizu H, Toyoda K. Flaxseed lignan lowers blood cholesterol and decreases liver disease risk factors in moderately hypercholesterolemic men. Nutr Res. 2010 Jul;30(7):441-6.
- Christofidou-Solomidou M, Tyagi S, Tan KS, et al. Dietary flaxseed administered post thoracic radiation treatment improves survival and mitigates radiation-induced pneumonopathy in mice. BMC Cancer. 2011 Jun 24;11:269.
- Pruthi S, Qin R, Terstreip SA et al. A phase III, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of flaxseed for the treatment of hot flashes: North Central Cancer Treatment Group N08C7. 2012 Jan;19(1):48-53.
- Lee J, Cho K. Flaxseed sprouts induce apoptosis and inhibit growth in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2012 Apr;48(4):244-50.
- Alvarez-Perea A, Alzate -Pérez D, Doleo Maldonado A, Baeza ML. Anaphylaxis caused by flaxseed. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2013;23(6):446-7.
- Zarepoor L, Lu JT, Zhang C, et al. Dietary flaxseed intake exacerbates acute colonic mucosal injury and inflammation induced by dextran sodium sulfate. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2014 Jun 15;306(12):G1042-55.
- Herchi W, Arráez-Román D, Trabelsi H, et al. Phenolic compounds in flaxseed: a review of their properties and analytical methods. An overview of the last decade. J Oleo Sci. 2014;63(1):7-14.
Caution: Always consult your physician first before using for any contraindications and safety concerns.