Flaxseed oil is a supplement that is derived from the dried mature seeds of the flax plant. The oil is obtained by cold pressing and is sold as edible flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil can be purchased at most health food and nutritional stores as well as online. Flaxseed oil is also referred to as linseed oil.
Flaxseed oil is rich in essential omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids that our body needs. It contains B vitamins, magnesium, lecithin, potassium, zinc, fiber and protein as well. Many nutritionists believe that flaxseed oil could very well be one of the best supplements to take next to a high quality multi-vitamin.
Flaxseed oil is also made up of chemicals that go by the name of lignans that prevents cancer cells from forming. The incidence of breast and colon cancer is low in societies that consume a high amount of lignan in their diets. Lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens, which are in fact, estrogen-like chemicals that also act as antioxidants. Flax contains 100 times the amount of lignan than many whole grains.
It is believed that flaxseed oil provides us with numerous health benefits including lowering cholesterol and averting clogged arteries which provide protection against strokes and heart attacks. One of the substances in flaxseed oil is alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, which is an essential fatty acid that is beneficial in the treatment of heart disease, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Flaxseed oil has also been proven to be an effective treatment for people suffering from dry eyes. Dry eye can be caused by allergens, refractive surgery and other eye conditions. Flaxseeds are rich in essential fatty acids, most particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids protect cell membranes throughout the body.
Women have been taking flaxseed oil for years as it helps with breast tenderness, bloating, hot flashes and other unpleasant symptoms that come with PMS and menopause. The lignans in the oil also assist in regulating the menstrual cycle.
Flaxseed oil is available in liquid and capsule form. The capsules are the most convenient, but be aware of the fact that they can be more expensive then the liquid form. It may also be required to take a large number of capsules to achieve the equivalent liquid dose.
Flaxseed oil should be taken with food. The liquid form should be kept in an amber colored bottle and refrigerated to maintain its freshness. The normal recommended dosage for flaxseed oil is one tablespoon or 14 grams daily which is three to six capsules per day when taken in the capsule form.