Before purchasing flaxseed oil capsules, it is important to know the various factors that can affect the quality and potency of the supplement. For example, the flaxseed oil must be properly bottled and stored, since it can easily spoil. The best flaxseed oil capsules use oil that is made from freshly pressed flaxseed. In addition, the bottle should be dark and the oil should be processed in a cool, dark environment. The capsules should only be purchased from reputable, well-known companies that certify that their supplements do not contain heavy metals, such as mercury and lead.
The oil used in capsules comes from pressed seeds from the flax plant, or Linum usitatissimum. The oil from the seeds contains omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and alpa linolenic acid. In addition, the seeds contain cancer fighting agents called ligans. The ligans are usually no longer present when the seeds are pressed into oil. People consume flaxseeds and flaxseed oil in the hopes to lower cholesterol levels, prevent arthritis, reduce the likelihood of heart disease, and relieve dry eyes.
Not all brands of flaxseed oil capsules are created equally. Freshly pressed seeds from the flax plant tend to make the best and most potent oil. In addition, the oil should be refrigerated to prevent spoilage. A cool, dark environment should be retained when processing and packaging the capsules as well. In addition, the best capsules should be stored in a dark bottle that does not let light shine through its walls and protects it from ultraviolet rays.
Most flaxseed capsules are sold in a gel capsules. It is important to read the ingredient list on the label, since some brands contain other oils that purportedly work to carry the flax to the body. By consuming capsules, people do not actually taste the oil. In addition, their capsule form allows them to be taken easily with a meal.
Some people may prefer to take flaxseed oil in liquid form. The liquid form is much more potent than the capsules. For example, 1 tablespoon (15 g) of high-quality flaxseed oil typically yields well over ten times the amount of alpha linolenic acid that someone would find in a single flaxseed capsule. In addition, the liquid form of the oil is often less expensive than the capsules. Also, for people following a vegan or vegetarian diet, the capsules typically are made from gelatin, an animal by-product.
Some people should talk to their doctors before using flaxseed oil capsules. Specifically, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may want to delay the use of the capsules until they consult a medical practitioner. In addition, the oil may react with or lower the potency of some drugs, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and blood-thinning drugs.