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What Is Flaxseed Oil?

Flaxseed oil is a certain type of oil which is derived fromthe seeds of the flax plant. There is a general misconception that flaxseed oilhas the same properties as the flaxseed plant itself, but that could not befurther from the truth. This is mainly due to the fact that flaxseed oil doesnot contain all the beneficial active components which otherwise can be foundin the flaxseed plant. The main active component of the flaxseed oil is asubstance known as alpha linolenic acid or ALA. It is one of the many omega-3fatty acids, and it is known for being very efficient in promoting the overall healthof the heart. It may also come in very handy when it comes to reducing theinflammatory conditions and decreasing the ability of platelets to sticktogether. These features are very important in reducing the risk of theformation of blood clots. The two active compounds of flaxseed plant which aremissing in the flaxseed are estrogen like components and they are known asfiber and phytoestrogens. Even though flaxseed oil is used for many purposesthere is no scientific evidence which would show that it is actually effectivefor all of them. It is also a peculiar fact that there is no establishedrecommended dose for flaxseed oil and its many uses and purposes. Fortunatelyenough, there are still some general information on flaxseed oil practicalexperiences based on a number of small clinical studies. When taken in smaller,normal doses, flaxseed oil is usually not associated with any unwanted sideeffects. It is only when taken in higher doses that it triggers certainunwanted side effects such as diarrhea and loose stools. One should also becareful with the ingestion of flaxseed oil because it is known for sometimesinteracting with certain types of medications. As a general rule, flaxseed oilis completely harmless when taken in smaller doses, but higher doses may beassociated with quite a few medical problems. This is why it is alwaysimportant to consult a healthcare provider before using flaxseed oil. This especiallymeans people who suffer from different types of bleeding disorders or areallergic to preservatives, dyes, foods or any other type of substance.Breastfeeding and pregnant women also need to consult a physician before usingflaxseed oil.

Is It Safe to use it during pregnancy?

It is a widely known fact that flaxseed oil can also betaken in its supplemental form. In spite of its general availability, there arevarious opinions whether it should or should not be taken by women during theirpregnancies. Some sources claim that taking flaxseed oil in its supplementalform may provide both the mother and the unborn child with numerous healthbenefits and have a generally positive effect on the pregnancy. On the otherhand, there are scientific sources that claim that there is no evidence whichwould show that taking flaxseed oil during pregnancy may provide any healthbenefits. These same sources also claim that the situation is completelyopposite, and that the flaxseed oil supplements may only be harmful to theunborn baby when taken during the pregnancy. There is a general misconceptionthat due to flaxseed oil supplements being rich in different types omega 3fatty acids and antioxidants, they can be taken even in excessive amountswithout having any harmful effects on the general health. According to the samesources, flaxseed oil is an excellent source of different sorts of essentialfatty acids and vitamin E, among certain other important nutrients. It is aknown fact that flaxseed oil has very potent anti inflammatory and looseningproperties. Those who claim that flaxseed oil should not be used during thepregnancy state that it may be harmful due to its ability to induce uterine contractionswhich may contribute to the occurrence of pre term labor. All animal studiesdone by far have shown that the correlation between pregnancy and flaxseed oilcan only be negative. The omega 3 fatty acid content from the flaxseed oil mayindeed provide pregnant women with certain benefits, but the negative aspectsof this type of substance far outweigh these insignificant benefits. Theaforementioned animal studies are the main reason why there are still numerousdoubts when the consumption of flaxseed oil in any form during the pregnancy isconcerned. Fortunately enough, no such studies have been done on human beings.Another problem with flaxseed oil when pregnant women are concerned is that itmay sometimes be very efficient in stimulating the menstruation and severalother sorts of hormonal effects which may put the pregnancy in jeopardy. Thisis due to the fact that flax seed is somewhat similar to soy when certainfeatures are concerned. Fish oil is a much better source of DHA than theflaxseed oil.

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