10 Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil

Deepanshu Bedi

Flaxseed oil is squeezed from flax seeds; hence, the oil contains a similar nutritional profile to healthy and enriched seeds. Undoubtedly, flaxseed oil is an incredible product for anyone looking to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. You can obtain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from many great natural sources, including fish and fish oil. However, if you are vegan or vegetarian, there is no better option than flaxseed oil.

Here, we dig deep a little and enlist evidence-based health benefits of flaxseed oil. Furthermore, we have also mentioned different ways to consume flaxseed oil.

What Is Flaxseed Oil?

Flaxseed oil is extracted from the seeds of Linum usitatissimum or flax plant. The ground flaxseeds are pressed through the cold-press method to obtain the golden-yellow oil. This oil naturally contains a high amount of ALA or alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is famous for offering many health benefits, including decreasing inflammation and blood cholesterol level.

Flaxseed oil has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its physical and mental health benefits. Now several medical evidence has approved this oil’s health benefits.

Are Flaxseed Oil and Linseed Oil the Same?

It is a general misconception that flaxseed and linseed oil are the same. Many companies use these terms interchangeably, but both oils are different. The main reason behind this misconception is that both oils originate from the same flax plant. However, the production methods and the uses of these oils are different from each other.

The flaxseed oil is extracted using the cold-press method, and the linseed oil is extracted using the heat-press method. Extraction of linseed oil requires petroleum, so it is not suitable for edible purposes. Hence, the primary uses of linseed oil lie in industrial applications.

For instance, linseed oil serves as the paint thinner, is used in the feed for livestock, and is used in the paper and fabric industry. On the other hand, flaxseed oil is edible, and you can also apply it directly on the hair and skin.

These two oils also differ in their physical qualities, including color and aroma. The natural color of flaxseed oil is yellow with a nutty aroma, whereas flaxseed oil has a dark color with a foul smell.

Benefits Of Using Flaxseed Oil

The rich nutritional profile makes flaxseed oil highly beneficial for your health. Here are the potential health benefits of flaxseed oil.

May Help in the Reduction of Inflammation

Thus, regular flaxseed oil can offer your body anti-inflammatory benefits.

A study published in 2016 revealed that flaxseeds reduce the circulation of CRP- C-reactive protein. CRP is the inflammation marker that researchers used to gauge the anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseed oil.

Another research comparing the consumption of flaxseed and olive oil in healthy adults showed that both oils are equally beneficial for reducing inflammation markers.

These studies indicate that flaxseed oil may offer anti-inflammatory properties, but the extent of these effects may vary from person to person.

Improves the Skin Health

Taking flaxseed oil may also help improve your skin health. By altering the chemical-based skin products with the natural goodness of the flaxseed oil, you can get glowy and healthy skin. Flaxseed oil may also reduce skin cell inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

A German study researched the effects of flaxseed oil on thirteen women’s skin hydration and sensitivity. The study concluded that flaxseed oil enhanced the skin’s freshness and hydration and reduced skin sensitivity.

Another similar research published in the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology journal also showed that regular consumption of flaxseed oil could decrease skin sensitivity while increasing the smoothness and hydration of the skin.

May Help Treat Digestive Health Issues

Many people consume flaxseed oil to eliminate common digestive health issues, including diarrhea and constipation. The flaxseeds contain mucilage which makes the flaxseed oil an excellent natural laxative agent. This feature of flaxseed oil positively affects your gastrointestinal tract and supports the digestive system. Regular intake of flaxseed oil in recommended dosage also helps detoxify your body’s waste. Recent research has revealed that as a laxative agent, flaxseed helps treat diarrhea and constipation.

Another study published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition compared the effects of flaxseed oil and olive oil on constipation and diarrhea. This study revealed that flaxseed oil helps increase bowel movement frequency and stool consistency.

Moreover, the study also showed that flaxseed oil is equally helpful in remedying constipation as olive oil and other mineral oils.

However, it is essential not to take too much flaxseed oil as excessive flaxseed consumption can negatively increase your bowel movement. The increment in the bowel movements may cause stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. In short, excessive flaxseed oil can be more harmful than helpful for your digestive health.

It is noteworthy that there is a lack of research studying the effects of flaxseed oil on humans, as most research has been performed on animals. Therefore, more medical evidence based on the research conducted on humans is necessary to confirm the digestive benefits of flaxseed oil.

Supports Heart Health

Scientific studies have revealed that regular intake of flaxseed oil can benefit heart health. A study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology showed that flaxseed oil could boost heart health due to the presence of alpha-linolenic acid. Moreover, the increased level of alpha-linolenic acid in your body is also helpful in the prevention of heart diseases.

Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are highly beneficial for cardiovascular health. Additionally, converting ALA into omega-3 acids in your body further enhances the beneficial effects of flaxseed oil on your heart. Generally, people fulfill their body’s requirements for these fatty acids by consuming fish oils. But you can take natural and chemical-free flaxseed oil instead of fish oil to boost the fatty acids.

Another study compared the effects of flaxseed oil supplements with hormonal therapy in altering cholesterol levels in menopausal women. The study revealed that flaxseed supplements are as effective as hormonal therapy.

Flaxseed supplements significantly help in decreasing insulin and glucose level. Moreover, these supplements also reduce the cholesterol level to normal, thus proving to be helpful for heart health.

Flaxseed benefits for heart health also include the increase in the elasticity of the arteries. Arteries lose their natural elasticity with time or due to high blood pressure. Flaxseed oil enriched in ALA can help eliminate coronary illnesses by improving elasticity. Scientific researchers have stated that ALA is an excellent alternative to fish oil.

The increased omega-3 fatty acid levels in the body also significantly lower blood pressure and decrease lipid levels in the serum.

May Help in the Reduction of Cancer Growth

Regular consumption of organic flaxseed oil may also help reduce cancer cell growth. Scientists have studied the effects of fresh flaxseed oil on treating different cancers.

A study published in 2015 researched the effects of ALA on the treatment of breast cancer. The results revealed that ALA significantly reduced the growth of breast cancer cells by changing the signaling pathway.

Another similar study published in the Journal of Cancer and Nutrition concluded that consuming ALA in food is one of the most convenient, affordable, and effective methods to help treat different breast cancers. This study showed that ALA induced the naturally programmed cell death or apoptosis of breast cancer cells, thus decreasing cancer cell growth.

A similar study published in the Balkan Union of Oncology journal studied the effect of flaxseed oil on the reduction of lung tumor cells. In this animal study, the researchers gave mice 0.3 ml of flaxseed oil for forty days. The results showed a significant halt in the spread of cancer (metastasis) and tumor growth.

Another animal study showed that flaxseed oil might also stop colon cancer formation in rats. In addition to decreasing the chances of cancer growth, the consumption of flaxseed oil did not cause any side effects.

Indeed, all this cancer research concluded hopeful results for the prevention or treatment of cancer, but most of this research is animal-based. Hence, it is essential to study the flaxseed oil benefits directly on the prevention of cancer in humans.

Helps in Weight Loss

As Flaxseed oil supports the proper functioning of the digestive system, it also helps maintain a healthy weight. Flaxseed oil improves your bowel movements, detoxifies your stomach, and speeds up the metabolic process.

Moreover, flaxseed oil reduces your appetite and reduces your untimely food cravings. A study published in 2012 showed that soluble fiber in flax oil suppresses the appetite and decreases energy intake. Suppression of appetite decreases the amount of food intake and thus helps in weight loss. You can also look for weight loss pills while you were on cutting.

Another study published in 2015 in the Nutrition Journal revealed that regular flaxseed oil induces weight loss and helps reduce inflammation in patients with heart disease. Thus, if you wish to shed extra pounds, start consuming flaxseed oil and see the wonders.

May Help in the Treatment of Sjogren’s Syndrome

Sjogren’s Syndrome is an immune system disorder that primarily targets moisture-producing body parts. The main symptoms of this disease are dry eyes and dry mouth.

Scientists are still searching for the actual reasons for this disease. However, there is a significant consensus that an unhealthy diet may cause the onset of this disease. Many studies have shown that incorporating flaxseed oil into a daily routine can reduce the symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome.

A study published in 2007 suggested that using an oral flaxseed oil supplement (one or two grams per day) significantly reduces inflammation. The omega-3 fatty acids in the flaxseed oil positively affect the eye tissues and relax their glands to produce secretion. So, it is preferable to maintain a healthy diet and add flaxseed oil to your routine.

Increases the Collagen Production

The production of collagen decreases over time. Collagen is a structural protein and primary component of the various connective tissues of our body. Reduced level of collagen causes a harmless skin condition called cellulite.

Cellulite causes lumpy and saggy skin because of the decreasing connection between collagen and the skin’s connective tissues. Various beauty products available in the market, including pills and skincare, boost the collagen content in your body.

Moreover, people also use collagen injections for this purpose. However, if you wish to increase the collagen content in your body using natural products, you can add flaxseed oil to your daily routine.

May Helps in the Prevention of Diabetes

The antioxidant properties of flax seeds can help in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. A study published in the Nutrition journal studied flaxseed oil’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties on obese people with glucose intolerance. The results showed that flaxseed oil might increase insulin resistance and improve glucose affectability.

A recent study published in Lipids in Health and Disease journal in 2020 studied the effect of dietary flaxseed oil on the severity of type 2 diabetes. The study showed that dietary flaxseed reduces the severity of diabetes by decreasing inflammation and regulating gut bacteria. Overall, flaxseed oil benefits in maintaining the blood sugar level, so it is best to use it regularly.

May Reduces Menopause Symptoms

The consumption of dietary supplements or traditional flaxseed oil may also help reduce menopause symptoms. A study published by Turkish scientists in 2015 researched 140 women who consumed flaxseeds for three months. The results showed a significant decrease in menopausal symptoms and improved quality of life.

Indeed, there is some research-based proof of flaxseed oil’s benefits for decreasing menopause symptoms. However, more research is required to confirm the theory further.

Can Relieves Stress and Depression

Several studies have shown that flaxseed oil may relieve stress and depression. Scientists believe that people with depression lack enough omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, in their bodies. Therefore, it is essential to intake foods rich in fatty acids, including flaxseed oil, fish oil, and pecan.

A team of Iranian researchers did a clinical trial on sixty depressed women between 18 and 45 to study the impact of flaxseed supplementation on their depression profile. The results showed positive effects of ALA on the depressive state, hence a significant decrease in mental stress.

Nutrition Profile of Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids as our body cannot produce these fats, so it is crucial to get them from food. Omega -3 and omega-6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

The ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in the flaxseed oil is 1: 0.3, precisely the amount your body requires. These fatty acids help reduce depression and improve cardiovascular health. Also, these fatty acids help treat Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Flaxseed oil is a rich source of ALA, and the body converts ALA into omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, the high-alpha-linolenic acid content in the food also decreases the postprandial glucose value.

Moreover, flaxseed oil contains many vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, molybdenum, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Different Ways of Using Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil bottles are readily available at local stores in varying sizes. In general, there are no specific dosage recommendations for flaxseed oil; however, it is preferable not to exceed the recommended dosage mentioned by the brand.

You can use flaxseed oil in various ways. One of the most common uses of flaxseed oil is its use in salad dressings and cold sauces. Many also love adding this oil to smoothies, juices, and shakes. The mix of flaxseed oil with yogurt also tastes delectable and makes the meal healthy. Similarly, eating the combination of cottage cheese and flaxseed oil enhances the metabolic process of the body and also supports digestion. You can also use the flaxseed oil to drizzle over the potatoes, rice, or toast. Also, you can use this oil instead of regular vegetable oil or butter.

Flaxseed oil adds a unique flavor and aroma to these food items. However, it is best not to use flaxseed oil during baking or frying as the chemical composition of the oil changes when it comes in contact with heat.

Therefore, keeping the flaxseed oil in the refrigerator is best to ensure prolonged freshness. Storing in the fridge also keeps the flaxseed oil from getting rancid. The flaxseed oil remains fresh in the refrigerator for about six to eight weeks. However, it is wise to check the expiry date on the label.

In addition to eating the flaxseed oil, you can mix it in your favorite cream and apply it to the skin. Regular application of flaxseed oil as carrier oil will improve your skin glow. Moreover, you can also use flaxseed oil on your hair roots to get healthy and shiny hair.


Flaxseed oil has an excellent nutritional profile enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. These healthy nutrients make flaxseed oil a beneficial product for your immune system, digestion support, and cardiovascular health. Nonetheless, it is preferable to consult your doctor before adding flaxseed oil to your routine.

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