Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil


Flaxseed contains fiber, which generally helps with constipation. However, there’s little research on the effectiveness for constipation.

Studies of flaxseed and the oil to lower cholesterol levels have had mixed results. A 2009 research review found that it lowered cholesterol only in people with relatively high initial cholesterol levels.

It doesn’t decrease hot flashes, studies from 2010 and 2012 suggest.

NCCIH is funding preliminary research on the potential role of substances in flaxseed for ovarian cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, asthma, and inflammation.

Side Effects Of Flaxseed

Don’t eat raw or unripe flaxseeds, which may contain potentially toxic compounds.

Seed and oil supplements seem to be well tolerated in limited amounts. Few side effects have been reported.

Avoid flaxseed and oil during pregnancy, as they may have mild hormonal effects. There’s little reliable information on whether it’s safe to use when nursing.

Flaxseed, like any fiber supplement, should be taken with plenty of water, as it could worsen constipation or, in rare cases, cause an intestinal blockage. Both the seed and oil can cause diarrhea


Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.