Due to its superior nutritional value and numerous health advantages, flaxseed, technically known as linum usitatissimum, has recently gained recognition as a superfood. Flaxseed is frequently ingested in its powdered or oil form, and it is a rich source of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and high-quality protein. The nature of flaxseed, its health advantages, the ideal dose, any potential side effects, any possible drug interactions, and the finest ethical applications of this dietary supplement are all covered in this article.
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Flaxseed: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information is an original (NootropicsPlanet) article.
The Nature of Flaxseed
Flaxseeds are small, brown or golden-colored nutrient-rich seeds. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid derived from plants, dietary fiber, and lignans are all abundant in them. Mucilage, a rare kind of soluble fiber found only in flaxseeds, can offer the digestive system great assistance. Excluding lysine, all of the necessary amino acids are present in considerable levels in the high-quality protein found in flaxseed.
Health Benefits of Flaxseed
There are many well established health advantages of flaxseed. Flaxseed ingestion on a regular basis, especially for women, can help decrease cholesterol levels. In the intestines, the fiber in flaxseed binds to cholesterol and keeps it from being absorbed by the body. By lowering oxidative stress and arterial plaque buildup, ALA and lignans also support cardiovascular health.
Flaxseeds are frequently praised for their alleged anticancer properties. By being converted by intestinal bacteria into substances that resemble the female hormone known as estrogen, the lignans in flaxseed offer protection against hormone-dependent malignancies including breast and prostate cancer. Lignans also have antioxidant properties that help the body fight off damaging free radicals and lessen oxidative stress.
Flaxseeds’ high fiber content also helps them improve digestive health. They can help with constipation and improve bowel regularity. Flaxseeds are advantageous for diabetics since they can also help control blood glucose levels.
Chemistry of Flaxseed
With 18 carbon atoms and three cis double bonds, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid, is found in flaxseed. The body cannot generate this vital fatty acid, thus we must get it from our food. Even though this process occurs in the body at a somewhat slow rate, ALA eventually breaks down into the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Lignans, phytoestrogens with antioxidant effects, are one of the most abundantly found compounds in flaxseed. The main lignan found in flaxseed is secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), which the gut flora degrade into the bio-active forms enterodiol and enterolactone.
Physiological Properties of Flaxseed
Flaxseed has many physiological benefits because of the variety of nutrients it contains. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which play important roles in heart health by lowering inflammation and decreasing the development of blood clots, are produced from ALA, the omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed.
Antioxidant substances and phytoestrogens are lignans. They can bind to estrogen receptors and block estrogen’s actions on tissue, which are particularly important for breast and prostate cancers. In addition, lignans boost the production of sex hormone-binding globulin, which lowers the body’s level of free active estrogen. Additionally, they prevent angiogenesis and metastasis, two processes vital to the development of cancer.
By lowering cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar levels, and maintaining intestinal health, flaxseed’s high fiber content benefits all of these conditions. Insoluble fiber encourages regular bowel movements and colon health, whereas soluble fiber, such as the mucilage in flaxseed, slows digestion and helps regulate blood sugar and hunger.
Optimal Dosage of Flaxseed
The best amount of flaxseed to take depends on the demands and health objectives of each person. In general, consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily is advised. It is crucial to remember that whole flaxseeds can pass through the body undigested, therefore they should be crushed or milled to guarantee the body can absorb the nutrients.
When ingested in moderation, flaxseed is often well-tolerated and has minimal side effects. However, because of its high fiber content, excessive intake may result in gastrointestinal effects such bloating, gas, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and constipation. Flaxseed allergy responses are uncommon, but they can happen.
Potential Substance Interactions
Due to the fiber in flaxseed, several drugs may interact with it and cause a reduction in absorption. These consist of orally administered drugs, blood thinners, blood sugar regulators, and topical drugs. If you have diseases that make you sensitive to hormones or use hormone-related drugs, you should consume flaxseed cautiously owing to its possible estrogenic effects.
Best Responsible Us
With a high concentration of ALA, lignans, and dietary fiber, flaxseed has a plethora of health advantages, especially for digestive and cardiovascular health, as well as helping to prevent cancer. However, in order to enhance nutritional absorption, flaxseed must be consumed in a ground or milled form, and care should be taken if you have certain medical problems or are taking certain medicines. Individual health requirements and circumstances should determine how much flaxseed is consumed, just like you would with any other dietary supplement. You should also always speak with your doctor before starting a new supplement program.
Flaxseed can be very beneficial to your health if you follow your doctor’s instructions, and take your flaxseed supplements accordingly, and consistently. If you are a female, taking flaxseed on a daily basis can help lower oxidative stress, and improve estrogen hormone levels. Flaxseed is also beneficial for cardiovascular health, and digestive health, due to its high fiber content. If any of these factors could be beneficial to you, it is advised to speak to your doctor to see if taking a flaxseed supplement is best for you.
- “Flaxseeds 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-flaxseeds
- “Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil.” National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/flaxseed-and-flaxseed-oil
- “Flaxseed: Is ground better than whole?” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/flaxseed/faq-20058354
Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.
Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.