Linseed Oil - Healthy Effects By Unsaturated fatty Acids
Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil, is made of mature flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum, L.). It has many positive effects on health. Especially because of the very high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids linseed oil should be part of every diet.
In 2013, 94,200 and 5,100 tonnes of linseed oil were produced in USA and United Kingdom 1.
Flaxseed Oil Contains Essential Fatty Acids
With an amount of 53 g per 100 g alpha-linolenic acid (essential omega-3 fatty acid) is contained in linseed oil. This essential fatty acid is mainly used for the conversion into the other two omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (low conversion rates) 2. They are, among other, components of the brain and retina 3. With linseed oil capsules (2.4 or 3.6 g) the levels of alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in the erythrocytes (red blood cells) could have been increased significantly 4. In a four week study with over 70-year-old people, the eicosapentaenoic acid values increased more than 40% with 2 g of linseed oil 5. The docosahexaenoic acid values remained unchanged.
As a vegan diet is rather poor in omega-3 fatty acids, linseed oil is also an excellent source of omega-3. With the help of the linseed oil cognitive impairments, which can occur during a deficiency, can be avoided. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly noted for their effectiveness to reduce inflammation and the related disease reduction 6 7.
There are 14 grams per 100 grams of the essential omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid in flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is one of the few plant foods that contain more omega-3 than omega-6. With the help of the flaxseed oil, the fatty acid ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 can be improved or even compensated under certain circumstances. An unbalanced ratio in favor of Omega-6 is associated with a variety of negative effects on health.
Linseed Oil Contains Vitamin E
In addition to the healthy fatty acids linseed oil also contains vitamin E (33.19 mg / 100 g). Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells against aggressive oxygen compounds that lead to premature death.
Strengthen Immune System With Flaxseed Oil?
Linseed Oil Against Constipation
In 2015, studies of scientists were able to prove that flaxseed oil is effective in the treatment of constipation in patients undergoing dialysis 10.
With Linseed Oil Against Cancer
Other phytonutrients in flaxseed oil are vanillin (1 µg per 100 g) and ferulic acid (1 µg) 15. They have an antimicrobial effect in the body.
Linseed Oil Lowers LDL Cholesterol Levels
Study results show that linseed oil could reduce the plasma levels of small dense LDL-cholesterol concentrations (sdLDL-C) in Japanese men significantly 16. Small dense LDL is a risk factor for coronary heart disease 17. Whether linseed oil has a positive effect on the cholesterol levels per se, is open to debate 18.
In another study, older people received 3 g of linseed oil daily for 90 days 19. In the evaluation of the results linseed oil exhibited remarkable effects in increasing the HDL cholesterol concentration. In addition, it was found that a low consumption of saturated fatty acids (less than 7% of daily calorie intake) could even increase the effect of linseed oil.
Flaxseed Oil For The Skin
By consuming flaxseed oil, the skin moisture could be increased significantly after 12 weeks 20. The transepidermal water loss could, according to the study, also be reduced by about 10% after 6 weeks. The scientists add that also bumps and dander could be significantly reduced with linseed oil.
Recent study results of the same scientists in 2011 confirm the results mentioned. Linseed oil resulted in a significant decrease in skin sensitivity, the transepidermal water loss and dandruff and skin roughness, while skin smoothness and moisture levels of the skin have been improved 21.
In addition, linseed oil has a strong activity in wound healing 22. According to scientists, the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid could be a candidate for promoting wound healing. Oils are generally required for improved movement of fibroblasts for wounded areas of the skin. Fibroblasts are important cells of the connective tissue.
Decrease Blood Pressure With Linseed Oil
A summary of several studies involving 1,302 subjects shows a hypotensive effect (systolic and diastolic) of linseed oil 23. The greatest effect was achieved with flax seed powder.
Further Results Of Scientific Studies
Linseed oil has no antioxidant activity in the body 26. It only suppresses the oxygen radical production of white blood cells.
According to a study of 2016, a supplement of 6 g of linseed oil a day reduces two inflammatory markers (hsCRP and sVCAM-1) of cardiovascular disease in patients on dialysis 27. According to scientists, a supply of linseed oil may be a strategy to reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in these patients.
Side Effects Caused By Linseed Oil?
Consuming flaxseed oil is largely safe for children and adults. Higher amounts of more than 30 grams a day can lead to loose stools and diarrhea 28. Generally, it is advisable for fats to consume no exorbitantly large quantities a day because the bile, which is responsible for fat digestion, may otherwise be insufficient and there may be so-called fatty stools. According to the University of Montreal, pregnant women should avoid flaxseed oil in the last two trimesters, as the risk of premature birth is quadrupled 29.
Linseed prolonged bleeding times, inter alia by reduced platelet aggregation (clumping of blood cells) 30.
In addition, linseed oil may reduce the effectiveness of drugs. For this reason, the advice of a doctor should be consulted.
Using Linseed Oil
The slightly nutty flavor goes well with salads and potatoes. Even as an ingredient for smoothies, the oil is ideal. Simply give one teaspoon of linseed oil per glass per into the blender and mix.
Do Not Use Flaxseed Oil For Frying And Baking!
The high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids of linseed oil reacts very sensitive to light, heat and oxygen, so flaxseed oil loses its vitamin E 31. In addition, it will very quickly become rancid, inedible and unhealthy substances are formed. Linseed oil should always be stored in the refrigerator (in the freezer) and rapidly depleted because the healthy fatty acids oxidize rapidly even at room temperature 32.
Buy Which Linseed Oil?
Use cold pressed (extra virgin) linseed oil, which was dark wrapped or packaged in brown bottles 33. In drugstores and health food stores, there is a very good selection of linseed oil. Even supermarkets carry linseed oil in their product line. There should be particular attention to the quality characteristics. Alternatively, high-quality linseed can also be found on the internet.