Potential Flax Oil Side Effects, Adverse Reactions And Contraindications


Potential Flax Oil Side Effects, Adverse Reactions And Contraindications

Flax oil is made from flaxseeds and consumed to help with various health conditions. It is an anti-inflammatory food that is used to help for example arthritis, high cholesterol, vaginal infections and heart disease. It is also used as a laxative for example during detoxification or weight loss diets.

Even though flax oil, also called flaxseed oil, has many good health properties, there are also potential side effects, adverse reactions and contraindications to consider before using this oil. The majority of flax oil side effects can occur especially if it is used in excess amounts, so always use flax oil with this in mind.

Because of its laxative properties, using flax oil too often can increase the risk of diarrhoea and loose stool. In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, flax oil should not be used because of the above effects. You can also experience milder side effects like flatulence and stomach ache.

Flax oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but its side effects may make you want to get omega-3 from other sources instead. Flax seed has omega-3 in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is then converted by the body to the better sources of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). But the University of Maryland Medical Center warns on its website that people with diabetes for example won’t be able to effectively convert ALA to EPA and DHA, and thus for them the benefits of flax oil could be minimal.

They also report in the article, which was reviewed in 2011, that an ALA-rich diet has been found to increase risk for eye diseases and for men it means a heightened risk of prostate cancer.

Women suffering from endometriosis, or other health conditions resulting in hormonal imbalance, should also refrain from using flax oil. Flax oil side effects for this group can include a mimicking of the biological effects of estrogen and thus causing their symptoms to worsen. And it is recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may not want to use flax oil or flaxseed products. There are no conclusive studies done to show it would be harmful to the child but it is best to be cautious.

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