5 Benefits of Flaxseed Oil: Side Effects and How to Use

People have been using flaxseed oil for thousands of years, and it has various health benefits. Manufacturers extract flaxseeds oil from flax seeds. People can use oil for cooking and baking.

In this article, learn about the health benefits of flaxseed oil, including lowering cholesterol, fewer skin problems, and reducing inflammation.

We also cover the potential dangers of using flaxseed oil.

What is flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed oil can lower cholesterol and fight cancer.

Flaxseed oil from ripe flaxseed seeds is produced by cold-pressed to extract oil. Another name for flaxseed oil is linseed oil.

Flaxseed oil is available for sale in both capsule and liquid form. It contains an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

The body uses ALA from flaxseed oil and converts it in small amounts to other fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a person’s physical and mental health.

Flaxseed oil does not contain the same nutrients as whole grains. For example, flaxseeds contain fiber, magnesium, and vitamin B, but flaxseed oil does not.

Benefits of flaxseed oil

Although scientists have done more research on flaxseed than flaxseed oil, some studies on an oil show promising results.

Potential benefits of flaxseed oil include:

1. Lowering cholesterol:

Like flaxseed, flaxseed oil can help lower cholesterol levels. ALA in flaxseed oil may play a role in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol.

In another small study involving 15 adults, participants ate flaxseed oil or corn oil once a day for dinner.

The researchers measured the participants’ cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study and repeated them after 12 weeks.

Those who ate corn oil did not change their cholesterol levels, while those who ate flaxseed oil had a significant decrease in LDL.

2. Fighting cancer:

Flaxseed oil can help fight certain types of cancer. Although further research is needed to reach a definite conclusion, other animal studies are encouraging.

One study of mice with lung cancer found that those who ate a 10 percent flaxseed diet had fewer abscesses than those in the control group.

Researchers have also studied the effects of flaxseed and flaxseed oil in some cancers.

Other literature reviews show that in animal studies, fatty acids in flaxseed oil may suppress breast size and growth and promote cancer cell death.

3. Treatment of atopic dermatitis:

Flaxseed oil may benefit the skin and hair, as it can reduce some of the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is eczema, a chronic condition that causes red and itchy skin.

One study looked at the effect of using flaxseed oil in mice with dermatitis. By three weeks, the rats have reduced dermatitis symptoms, such as redness, swelling, and itching.

4. Reducing the risk of diabetes:

Flaxseed oil can also help reduce the risk of diabetes. A 2015 systematic review analyzed studies to determine the effect of flaxseed oil on people with diabetes.

One study involved 25 people with prediabetes. These participants were women who had menopause or men who were overweight. They consume 13 grams (g) or 26 g of flaxseed daily for 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks, those who ate 13 g of flaxseed experienced lower blood sugar levels. Those who ate high doses of flaxseed did not experience any changes.

Researchers are not sure why the high-dose group has no changes. Although flaxseed oil may positively affect people with prediabetes, more extensive studies are needed to make firm conclusions.

5. Reducing inflammation:

In a single meta-analysis, flaxseed and its derivatives reduced the circulation of C-reactive protein, which is a sign of inflammation. However, these effects were only available to obese adults.

6. Improves Skin:

ALA is a powerful antioxidant. It is often recommended that cosmetic manufacturers have “anti-aging” properties.

Studies show that flaxseed oil can help reduce inflammation of skin cells and promote skin regeneration.

7. Aids in Weight Loss:

A 2012 report in Appetite magazine found that flaxseed supplements could help with diet, allowing for weight loss.

8. Reduce Menopause Symptoms:

There is some evidence that flaxseed oil can help with the symptoms of menopause. Another 2015 study of 140 menopausal women who used flaxseed oil supplements showed a drop in hot flashes and an increase in quality of life.

Side Effects of flaxseed oil

Side effects of flaxseed oil can include gas and constipation.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, using flaxseed oil in moderation is generally safe.

Minor side effects can occur depending on the dose and individual response. Potential side effects include:

  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

There is little information on whether flaxseed oil is safe to use during pregnancy or lactation.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate flaxseed oil as a dietary supplement.

If someone wants to take flaxseed oil for a specific health condition, it is best to talk to a doctor first to ensure no possible interaction with their current medication or treatment.

The doctor may recommend stopping flaxseed for a few weeks before surgery.

How to use flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed oil is sensitive to light and heat, so it is best to buy them in a clear or dark glass bottle to protect them from light and keep them in a cool, dark place.

The taste of flaxseed oil is mild. People can drink a straight spoon or mix it with dips and sauces.

People can use flaxseed oil instead of other oils or butter for cooking. Flaxseed oil is sensitive to heat, so cooking with it will change the properties of nutritious foods.

For those who do not want to add flaxseed oil to the diet, it is also available in the form of a capsule as a supplement.


Flaxseed oil does not have as much nutritional value as flaxseed seeds. However, it is still a good source of ALA, which is one type of omega-3 fatty acid. Side effects are rare and usually mild.

Adding flaxseed oil to a healthy diet is easy. It provides omega-3 supplementation and may have additional benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and fighting inflammation.

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