Flax Seeds – Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Ground Flax Seeds

  • Flax seeds (2 – 3 teaspoons of ground flax seeds meal consumed with water) prevent and alleviate constipation.
  • Flax seeds improve digestion.
  • When breaking open or grinding flax seeds, they immediately become rancid, which is detrimental to one’s health. To avoid the rancidity of flax seeds, grind them up underwater or under ice in a smoothie and drink immediately.
  • Flax seeds may slow down the progression of hair loss in people with Male Pattern Baldness (due to the plant lignans content of flax seeds inhibiting the binding of Dihydrotestosterone (the Hormone believed to cause Male Pattern Baldness) to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG).
  • Flax seeds inhibit the development of some forms of cancer.
  • Flax seeds help to prevent breast cancer (due to plant lignans in flax seeds that inhibit the Aromatase enzymes that are implicated in the proliferation of breast cancer).
  • Flax seeds help to prevent colon cancer.
  • Flax seeds help to prevent the metastasis of melanoma (and possibly other types of cancer) (due to the Lignans content of flax seeds).
  • Flax seeds (30 grams per day) help to prevent and treat (regress) prostate cancer.
  • Flax seeds stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Flax seeds (50 grams per day) lowers total serum cholesterol levels by up to 9%.
  • Flax seeds lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 18%.
  • Flax seeds strengthen the bones: help to prevent and treat osteoporosis and strengthen the teeth (according to folklore).
  • Flax seeds alleviate eczema (when eczema is due to essential fatty acid deficiency).
  • Flax seeds strengthen the nails (according to folklore).
  • Flax seeds improve the health of the skin (according to folklore).
  • Flax seeds alleviate problems of the colon (according to folklore).

Bioavailability

  • Whole flax seeds swallowed whole are not digestible by the human body as they are protected by a tough seed coat. Therefore, to ensure that flax seeds are digested, they should be ground in a small grinder first with water, or put in a blender before the fruits for a smoothie. Remember to do this to avoid them going rancid, and then drink right away!
  • Ground flax seeds should be consumed with water as the mucilage contained in flax seeds absorbs five times the seed’s weight of water.

Dosage Recommendations

  • Therapeutic Dosage – The usual therapeutic dosage of (ground) flax seeds is 1½ – 3 heaping tablespoons (15,000 – 30,000 mg) per day.
  • Maximum Dosage – Clinical trials on humans using (ground) flax seeds (flax seed meal) have involved up to 50,000 mg (50 grams) per day and this dosage has been described as safe and nutritionally beneficial.
  • Fresh, loose flax seeds are available from most health food stores, supermarkets and grocery stores.
  • At some health food stores, pre-ground flax seed products (powder) are modified to contain up to twenty times more of the active ingredients (plant lignans) than home-ground flax seeds.
  • Pre-ground flax seeds (flaxmeal) products should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 2-3 months of purchase because they get rancid very quickly.

** Flax seeds are the highest dietary source of plant lignans (they contain 100 – 800 times the quantity of plant lignans compared to any other source of plant lignans).  The majority of the plant lignans component of flax seeds is located in the outer husk of the flax seed (flax seed oil from the inner area of flax seeds contains smaller quantities of plant lignans).

One tablespoon (20 ml) of flax seeds contains 4,000 mg (4 grams) of Alpha-Linolenic Acid and 4,000 mg of mucilages.

This entry was posted in Patient Education Guide and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.