Flaxseed Oil Side Effects And Limitations


With all the great flaxseed benefits it can be quite the downer to know that their actually is a few limitations and possibly some flax seed side effects associated with its consumption. The first limitation is that while flax seed is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for everyone’s well being it’s only in the alpha-linolenic acid form (ALA for short). What this means is that it’s not exactly the same “omega 3” that you get from other sources such as fish oil. There’s also some research that show that high ALA intake might actually be linked to higher occurrence of prostate cancer !

ALA in general does not provide as much benefit as DHA and EPA which are both very common in fish oil. The reason for this is that your body actually has to convert ALA into DHA and EPA before you can get some of the benefits. Sadly, our body is not very efficient at this and actually might lose some efficiency as we age. Interestingly women might be better at converting EPA (~21%) and DHA (~9%) than men (8% and up to 4% respectively). This difference might apparently exists because DHA is very important for children which means women naturally have a higher need for DHA especially during pregnancy and this is linked to a higher conversion of ALA throughout their lives.

At first glance women should not have any fear of any flax seed side effects such as the possibility of prostate cancer but there’s also a chance that it might be involved with a higher risk of breast cancer though there is even less conclusive evidence for this because other researches actually point out that high ALA intake might actually HELP prevent breast cancer!

flax_seed_side_effectsAlso, if taken into large amounts theirs occurrences of flatulence.
While you might avoid some of the side effects of fish oil such as not having to risk ingesting heavy metals like mercury you should not rely on it as your only source of omega 3 for many reasons such as you don’t get as much omega 3 as you might expect due to the conversion ratios in your body (especially if you’re a man). Also, of course for vegetarians who do not eat fish they are still a viable (and necessary alternative) but fish oil supplements should probably still be considered. In conclusion flax seed is definitely not bad, in fact it  has many unique benefits over fish oil that are not necessarily linked to omega 3, but don’t rely on solely because it might not give you all the DHA and EPA your body needs unless you take excessive amounts of it which might reveal itself to be dangerous!


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