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Flax Seed Oil Information

Health Benefits

Circulatory and Heart Disease

flax seed oil is heart-healthy because, besides lignans, flax seeds and their oil are also the best food sources of an essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). "Essential" means we must consume it, because our bodies cannot manufacture it. Essential fatty acids are important for cell membranes, blood pressure regulation, and other functions of the body – easily one of the greatest health benefits of flax seeds.

Alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3, similar to some of the fatty acids in fish oil. Like aspirin, omega-3s may reduce blood clotting, thus lessening the chance of a fatal heart attack and thromboses. flax seeds and their oil may also lower total blood cholesterol, as well as LDL ("bad") cholesterol, yet another health benefit. The fiber in flax seeds may also help against cholesterol, since it is soluble, like oats.

ALA plays an important role in the health of our hearts. Several studies have suggested that consumption of dietary ALA may reduce the risk of heart disease and promote overall heart health. It may also benefit the circulatory system by keeping platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the chance of a heart attack. Omega-3 fats benefit the production of substances that reduce the formation of blood clots, which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.

Several studies indicate that the benefits of flax seed oil, as well as ground flax seeds, can lower cholesterol, thereby significantly reducing the risk of heart disease. Taking flax seed oil may also protect against angina (chest pain) and high blood pressure. It may also help prevent elevated blood pressure by inhibiting inflammatory reactions that cause artery-hardening plaque and poor circulation providing yet another health benefit of flax seed and flax seed oil.

Several population studies have linked the health benefits of flax seed oil (a high intake of alpha-linolenic acid) with a reduced risk of heart disease and/or death from heart disease. A French study, as was reported in 1999, found that a diet relatively rich in alpha-linolenic acid greatly reduced the risk of second heart attacks. (The alpha-linolenic acid in that study did not come from flax seeds, but from canola-oil margarine). Besides flax seeds and canola oil, alpha-linolenic acid is also found in soybean oil and walnuts, however, these sources do not have the overall health benefits that flax seed and flax seed oils possess.

Uses of Flax Seed
Health Benefits of Flax Seed
Side Effects of Flax Seed