Flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) is derived from the extremely nutritious and disease-preventing flaxseed. Similar to the seed, flaxseed oil is loaded with healthy omega-3s, fatty acids that have been associated with healthier brains and hearts, better moods, decreased inflammation, and healthier skin and hair..
Flaxseed oil contains 50 percent to 60 percent omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). With even more anti-inflammatory and disease-preventing ALA than fish oil, many people opt for flaxseed oil benefits over fish oil benefits, especially people who don’t eat meat and people concerned about the possible mercury lurking in some fish oils.
Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in all sorts of bodily processes, including inflammation, heart health and brain function. Being deficient in omega-3s is associated with lower intelligence, depression, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and many other health problems.
1. Aids in Weight Loss
Since flaxseed oil lubricates the colon and works as a natural laxative, it’s excellent at keeping things moving in the digestive system. By helping your body to get rid of food and wastes more quickly, it helps your body to detoxify and shed excess weight.
In fact, a 2015 study published in Nutrition Journal found that flaxseed oil added to a weight loss diet not only helped participants lose weight, but it also reduced inflammation markers. (1) That means adding flaxseed oil as a carrier oil to essential oils for weight loss can lead to additional benefits beyond dropping some pounds.
2. Relieves Constipation and Diarrhea
Constipation is slower than normal movement of food waste through the digestive tract. It’s generally accompanied by a variety of symptoms, such as bloating, gas, back pain,or fatigue. One of the main folk or traditional uses for flaxseed oil has been constipation relief. By acting as a lubricant to the colon, flaxseed oil offers easy and natural constipation relief.
Not only that, but flaxseed oil benefits those suffering form diarrhea as well. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that it has dual effectiveness at relieving constipation and stopping diarrhea, showing flaxseed oil benefits the digestive system in multiple ways. (2)
3. Helps Fight Cancer
In the world of natural cancer treatment and prevention, flaxseed oil is well-respected and included in natural treatment diets like the Budwig diet protocol for cancer. Studies even show that flaxseed oil benefits may include helping prevent the growth of breast tumors.
In one 2015 study, researchers found that ALA contained in flaxseed oil reduces growth of breast cancer cell lines by modifying signaling pathways. (3) Another study in the journal Nutrition and Cancer supports the use of flaxseed oil as an inexpensive complementary therapy for a wide range of breast cancers. The research showed that the ALA in flaxseed oil reduced cancer cell growth and induced apoptosis, which is programmed cell death of cancer cells. (4)
4. Removes Cellulite
Looking for a natural way to fight cellulite? As we age, collagen production decreases, but consumption of flaxseed oil helps to increase collagen production. Structural changes in the skin’s tissues, including weakened collagen, makes cellulite more visible because the skin becomes thinner and less able to conceal the irregularities created by the superficial fat and connective tissue just below its surface. By adding flaxseed oil to your diet, you can actually help to fight the appearance of cellulite.
5. Reduces Eczema
Eczema is a common skin disorder that causes dry, red, itchy skin that can blister or crack. It’s generally caused by an allergic response to foods, chemicals or other substances, such as perfumes or soaps. In addition to avoiding unhealthy skincare products, you can also greatly improve eczema through your diet. Essential fatty acids help improve skin elasticity and texture, making flaxseed oil one of the top choices for improved skin health in general and pesky skin problems like eczema. (5)
6. Boosts Heart Health
There’s evidence that eating foods high in alpha-linolenic acid like flaxseed oil may help prevent and treat heart disease. One study suggests that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack. Another study found that women who ate high levels of ALA (1.5 grams per day) had a 46 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death than those who ate the lowest amount of ALA (about half a gram per day). Other population studies show that as people eat more foods with alpha-linolenic acid, heart disease deaths go down. (6)
7. Treats Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome is a disorder of the immune system identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and a dry mouth. A number of studies to date have suggested numerous potential associations between diet and tear film health. One such study evaluated if oral flaxseed oil can help Sjogren’s syndrome patients. Results showed that therapy with oral flaxseed oil capsules (one or two grams per day) reduced eye surface inflammation and improved the symptoms of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) in Sjogren’s syndrome patients. (7)