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Flax Seed Oil Side Effects

Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

Health Benefits and Risks of Flax Seed's High Content of Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA):

Flax seed contains high levels of ALA. Are there any side effects or negative health risks to using flax seed as a result that?

Flax seed, and flax seed oil contain high levels of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) whose side effects are often debated to be cancerous. There is information for and against the cancer risk of the effects alpha linolenic acid (ALA) in flax seed oil. Clinical trials argue both for and against increased breast cancer risk as a side effect of higher ALA levels. Animal and test tube studies suggest a possible protective role of alpha linolenic acid - a positive side effect - against breast cancer. On the other side of the argument, another animal study and a preliminary human study showed negative effects to high levels of dietary ALA, suggesting increased risk of breast cancer. Another preliminary human study reported that high levels of alpha linolenic acid in breast tissue are associated with less advanced breast cancer at the time of diagnosis. In test tube studes ALA was found to promote cancer cell growth as a health risk, but that preliminary human studies have shown alpha linolenic acid to be associated with either an increased or decreased risk, or no change at all. More data that indicates arbitary side effects.

However, flax seed oil advocates speculate that the apparent association between ALA and cancer may not be linked to flax seed byproducts but rather the prevalent use of meat, implying a false link to health risks and flax seed oil uses. In some studies, however, the saturated fat, which rules our meat products, were taken into consideration, and alpha linolenic acid still correlated with increased health risks, and cancerous side effects. The associations between ALA and cancer might eventually be shown to be caused by substances found in foods rich in ALA rather than by ALA itself. The effect of ALA as an isolated substance, and of flax seed oil on the risk of cancer in humans remains unclear. Studies involving test tube studies and animal testing suggest protective health effects. Yet, some preliminary human trials indicate a cause for concern. It is still to early to suggest that ALA and flax seed oil will either provide positive or negative side effects as they relate to human cancer at this time.

flax seed oil is not suitable for cooking and should be stored in an opaque, airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. If the oil has a noticeable odor it is probably rancid and should be discarded. As with any source of fiber, flax seed should not be taken if there is possibility that the intestines are obstructed. People with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) should consult a doctor before using flax seed. Although a gradual introduction of fiber in the diet may improve bowel symptoms in some cases, there have been several reports of people with scleroderma developing severe constipation and even bowel obstruction requiring hospitalization after fiber supplementation.35 Animal research suggests that large amounts of flax seed or lignans consumed during pregnancy might adversely affect the development of the reproductive system. No studies have attempted to investigate whether this could be a problem in humans. Allergic reactions to flax seed have occasionally been reported, but are considered very uncommon. At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with flax seed oil.

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