Why flaxseed is good medicine

This Week In The HSI Healthier Talk Community

In a thread titled “Why Flaxseed is Good Medicine,” an HSI member named Apasionato shares a quote from an unnamed source that offers three reasons in support of that “good medicine” claim:

  • Studies show that the combination of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol
  • Flaxseed contains good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Research has indicated that flaxseed may also help fight some cancers

Apasionato might have added that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA – a precursor of omega-3 fatty acids) has also been shown to help control arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) while promoting healthy blood vessel resiliency.

TomSKinney: “What I keep reading is that it is better to grind the flaxseed than to buy oil, both because it is fresher and that there is some reason (never given) that men should avoid the oil and use the actual seed. Is this true or just more gossip I shouldn’t listen to?”

China: “My understanding is that, if you have a choice, the ground flax seeds are better than the oil. The seeds are a more complete item than the oil. The flax seed oil when it is processed out of the seeds and meets the air/oxygen, it then begins to break down and begins the rancid process. The ground flax seeds are the best over the oil, but this is not a perfect world. The oil is more concentrated and obviously it has healed many people’s illnesses.”

There’s another important difference between flaxseed and flax oil. JoUK cites a 2004 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that a high intake of ALA may make existing prostate cancer tumors more aggressive. As noted in previous e-Alerts, several studies have made this association between ALA and prostate cancer, so it’s important to note that the ALA in flax oil is highly concentrated compared to the relatively low amounts of ALA in flaxseed.

A member named CedarChest offers another distinction between the oil and the seed: “Having been a user of both flax seeds and FSO for about three or four yearsI can state without hesitation that you will grow to prefer the seeds.

“The oil, no matter how you try to disguise it, may not taste too bad at first (some people even actually like the stuff) but eventually you will start tasting it ALL THE TIME. No kidding, it gets just awful. It is a very dominating taste. Gags me. I can’t stand the smell anymore either. Other nut oils are healthy, and can be mixed with the FSO, if necessary, to disguise the taste.

“I still think the seeds are a better deal in the long run, because you are getting more of the fiber. There is some fiber in the oil, to be sure, but some folks forget to shake it up and the sediment rests on the bottom of the bottle where it does you no good. It takes six tablespoons of flax seeds to equal two tablespoons of oil”

Other topics being discussed this week in the Healthier Talk community forums include:

  • Energy: How many calories are you burning?
  • Vision: Fungal contact-lens infections rising
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Shingles
  • General Health Topics: FDA zero trans-fats scam
  • Allergies: Hearing aids allergies to plastic
  • Diabetes: Skin tags

To join in with any of these discussions, just go to our web site at www.hsionline.com, choose “Forum,” and add your own insights and comments about health, nutrition and natural treatments.