The most common side effects of flaxseed oil are loose stools and abdominal flatulence.
Flaxseed oil also marketed as linseed oil, is one of the few vegetarian sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. There is debate among medical researchers and nutritionists if the fatty acids in flaxseed oil are just as nutritious as those in fish. But so far, no definitive study exists that proves which is more nutritious. Flaxseed oil is like cod liver oil in that it is not used as a cooking oil but swallowed in capsule or liquid form. Flaxseed oil is prescribed or suggested by doctors to patients who need to lower their cholesterol or who suffer from Sjorens syndrome. There are also some promising studies suggesting that flaxseed oil may protect against breast cancer and heart disease.
Most people do not experience side effects while taking flaxseed oil, but it is possible for problems to occur, especially when you take the product in high doses. If you take more than two tablespoonfuls of flaxseed oil a day, you may experience diarrhea or loose stools. Certain side effects are potentially dangerous and require medical attention, such as any signs of bleeding or an allergic reaction.
Learn About Flaxseed Oil Side Effects
Some people are allergic to any part of flaxseeds, including the oil. These flaxseed oil side effects disappear after the person stop drinking flaxseed oil. Common flaxseed oil allergy symptoms include hives or rashes on the skin; itchy or watery eyes; sudden problems breathing; diarrhea; runny or heavily congested nose. If any other strange symptom not listed here develops soon after swallowing flaxseed oil, contact a doctor right away.Schizophrenics and diabetics should avoid taking flaxseed oil because they simply may be unable to digest it. They need to get omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from other sources, such as cod liver oil.
Some researchers suggest that a diet high in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) coming from dairy and meat could be linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer. However, this finding does not apply to flaxseed-based ALA. In fact, the role that flaxseed oil may play in the development of prostate cancer is highly debated and controversial, partly due to the very little research done regarding this specific aspect of flaxseed oil side effects.
Some studies suggest that flaxseed oil may affect the body’s blood clotting ability, so if you have a bleeding disorder, take drugs that increase the risk of bleeding or plan to undergo medical, surgical or dental procedures, you should check with your doctor before consuming flaxseed oil.
Gastrointestinal problems are sometimes associated with flax, though this is usually the high-fiber ground meal, rather than the extracted oil.Occasionally an upset stomach and diarrhea has been reported with taking 30 grams or more in one dose of flaxseed oil. This is a large amount and probably too much to start with initially.Below is a method for slowly increasing your dosage to get the maximum flaxseed oil benefit while reducing the risk of side effects.
Studies show that the hull of the flaxseed contains an active phyto-estrogen called lignans. Lignans are a plant-based estrogen which some scientists believe can encourage menstruation which may be harmful to your pregnancy. There are also some animal studies that found large amounts of flaxseeds might affect the reproductive system. You should consult with your obstetrician before adding flaxseed oil to your diet if you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels
Taking large doses of flaxseed oil may slightly lower blood sugar levels. This would generally be a good thing, but there is some concern that diabetes sufferers taking blood sugar lowering medications at the same time as flax oil could reduce their blood sugar too low.Once again, consult your doctor and avoid taking the oil at the same time as any important medications, regardless of the health condition.