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Flaxseed oil benefits mainly come from alpha linolenic acid or ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega 3s are not made in the body, but are necessary for it to function properly. Other sources of omega 3s include fish and nuts. The omega 3s found in flax seeds can prevent tumors from growing and reduce inflammation in the body. Omega 3s found in fish are different from those found in nuts and flaxseed oil and provide different benefits to the body.
One of the most common flaxseed oil benefits is protection against heart disease. Flaxseed oil benefits the cardiovascular system in several ways. First, the ALA in the oil lowers a person's risk of inflammation in the arteries and can prevent the build up of plaque, which can lead to a heart attack. The omega 3s can also keep a person's heart rate at a normal rhythm and may keep blood pressure low. Some studies have shown that flaxseed oil can help lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol. A high LDL level can lead heart disease as well as other chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Taking flaxseed oil can also help women who experience hot flashes during menopause. Certain studies have shown that flaxseed oil benefits during menopause included reducing the number of hot flashes women experienced as well as the intensity of the hot flashes. Taking flaxseed oil does not eliminate hot flashes, though.
Additionally, flaxseed oil benefits may exist for people who suffer from Sjogren's syndrome. Sjogren's is an auto-immune disorder where a person's glands do not function properly. Common symptoms of the disorder include dry eyes and mouth. Taking a small amount of flaxseed oil every day may help alleviate dry eyes caused by Sjogren's.
A person should speak with his doctor before deciding to take flaxseed oil to make sure it will not interfere with his other treatments. The oil is usually sold as capsules or as a liquid. Most healthy adults can take about two tablespoons of liquid oil or two capsules daily.
It is important to note that flaxseed oil is not stable at high temperatures, and so cannot be used for baking or in other hot foods. Flaxseed oil is very perishable, and must be refrigerated once opened.
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