Flaxseed Oil

Introduction

Flaxseed oil comes from the tiny seeds of the flax plant. It has been used to promote heart health and lower blood pressure. Flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a fat your body needs to promote wellness. Flaxseed oil can be taken orally or used in cooking. It can also be taken as a pill or applied to the skin.

Dosages

1 to 2 tablespoons daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

May Be Effective

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Hyperlipidemia —unlikely to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol; likely to lower when taken as flax-seed G1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take flaxseed oil in small doses for a short time, but allergic reactions may happen. J1 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Interactions
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

References

A Bipolar Disorder in Children
A1 Gracious BL, Chirieac MC, et al. Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of flax oil in pediatric bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2010 Mar;12(2):142-154.
B Cardiovascular Disease
B1 Abdelhamid AS, Brown TJ, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;7:CD003177.
C Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
C1 Hashempur MH, Homayouni K, et al. Effect of Linum usitatissum L. (linseed) oil on mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Daru. 2014;22:43.
D Diabetic Foot Ulcer
D1 Soleimani Z, Hashemdokht F, et al. Clinical and metabolic response to flaxseed oil omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in patients with diabetic foot ulcer: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Diabetes Complications. 2017 Sep;31(9):1394-1400.
E Diabetic Nephropathy
E1 Soleimani A, Taghizadeh M, et al. Metabolic response to omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with diabetic nephropathy: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2017 Feb;36(1):79-84.
F High Blood Pressure
F1 Khalesi S, Irwin C, et al. Flaxseed consumption mat reduce blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. J Nutr. 2015;145(4):758-765.
F2 Ursoniu S, Sahebkar A, et al. Effects of flaxseed supplements on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2016;35(3):615-625.
G Hyperlipidemia
G1 Pan A, Yu D, et al. Meta-analysis of the effects of flaxseed interventions on blood lipids. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(2):288-297.
H Lipid Profile
H1 Avelino AP, Oliveira GM, et al. Additive effect of linseed oil supplementation on the lipid profiles of older adults. Clin Interv Aging. 2015 Oct 22;10:1679-1685.
I Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
I1 Ebrahimi FA, Samimi M, et al. The Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin E Co-Supplementation on Indices of Insulin Resistance and Hormonal Parameters in Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2017 Jun;125(6):353-359.
I2 Mirmassoumi G, Fazilati M, et al. The Effects of Flaxseed Oil Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation on Metabolic Status of Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2018;126(4):222-228.
J Safety
J1 Alonso L, Marcos ML, et al. Anaphylaxis caused by linseed (flaxseed) intake. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996 Aug;98(2):469-470.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019
  • Update Date: 05/06/2020