Why do people take flaxseed?
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the essential omega-3 fatty acids that partly and inefficiently converts into DHA and EPA — more active omega-3s — in the body.
While flaxseed hasn’t yet been shown to improve heart disease risk, there’s good evidence that flaxseed and flaxseed oil may lower cholesterol levels.
Ground flaxseed — but not flaxseed oil — may also help with menopausal symptoms. One study showed that 40 grams per day may be similar to hormone therapy for improving mild menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. But other studies contradict this finding. Ground flaxseed may also ease constipation.
Flaxseed has also been shown to improve kidney function in people with lupus. If you have lupus — or any other medical condition — it’s very important to talk with your doctor about any supplements you take.