Flaxseed (Flax Seed) Oil, Benefits, Health, Information

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Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Benefits, Health, Information

by Dusty R. Green, M.Ed., Research Scientist / Author of Smart Eats, Smart Supplements, and Smart Exercise

Americans lead the World in a lot of things and heart disease is one of them.  For a long time, scientists did not understand why Greenland Eskimos and coastal Japanese have low levels of triglycerides (blood fats), cholesterol, and correspondingly low incidence of heart disease.  These two groups of people consume higher amounts of fat in their diets than most Americans.  The key to this paradox came when research scientists discovered a big difference in the kind of fats they consume compared to the rest of the world.

Cold Water Fish
Cold water fish consumption held the key to this paradox.  Cold water fish are high in the fatty acids eicosopentaenoic (EPA) and decosahexaenoic (DHA) which are also called omega 3 oils/fatty acids.  Most Americans eat diets high in omega 6 oils and low in omega 3s -- quite unhealthy.  Omega 3 and 6 oils are also called essential fatty acids (EFAs).  Since most of us do not eat cold water fish regularly, the next best thing is to eat the straight oil or take it in capsule form.  Cold water fish oil in capsule form can leave a fishy after-taste and possibly contain mercury and other toxicities -- depending on where the fish come from.

Flax seed oil is a well-balanced omega 3 dominant essential fatty acid.  It has a healthy 3:1 ratio of omega 3 to 6 and does not leave an after-taste since it is plant derived.

It is ideal to create a healthy balance of oils (EFAs) in your body.  By consuming flax, you'll be correcting the balance in favor of omega 3 -- preferably bringing the total balance to 2:1 in favor of omega 3s.  It's very difficult to eliminate omega 6 oils from our diet since they are found in high amounts in almost everything we eat.  Margarine, shortening, heated oils, most nuts, animal fats, chips, salad dressings and many other food products are all high in omega six oils.

Benefits of consuming flax seed oil on a regular basis:

A Word About Melatonin, Psoriasis, and Eczema
In small amounts, melatonin may cause skin cells to proliferate (in large amounts, it stops proliferation).  Those with psoriasis and atopic eczema do not have normal melatonin secretion.  Instead of peaks, they have valleys.  With psoriasis, melatonin peaks in the daytime when it should not.  As a result, leaving small amounts of the hormone produced at night.  It's surprising that a hormone connected to sleep has something to do with skin health but not to those researchers who consider it another endocrine gland.

Published in the Journal of Nutrition, February 1998;128(2 Suppl):427S-433S. In humans with neuropathy or impairment of the immune system, significant deficits of omega 3 EFAs have been measured.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1987, Feb;11(1):2-9. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are major structural components of the brain and through their effects on membrane properties can influence nerve conduction, transmitter release, and transmitter action.

J Neurochem 1998, Aug;71(2):732-40. This study indicates that fish oil has beneficial effects on diabetes-induced alterations in sciatic nerve Na,K-ATPase activity and function.

Med Hypotheses 1992 Oct;39(2):123-6. Recent developments show that the brains of persons who have died from Alzheimer's Disease (AD) have a deficiency of Essential Fatty acids in one of the principal classes of phospholipids.

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2000, Dec;63(6):351-62. A statement made by the Author of this study: Thus, there appears to be a close interaction between the central nervous system, endocrine organs, cytokines, exercise, and dietary n-3 fatty acids. This may explain why these fatty acids could be of benefit in the management of conditions such as septicemia and septic shock, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, diabetes mellitus, essential hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Those who hemorrhage or bleed easily, as well as diabetics, should consult a competent health professional before taking flax seed oil.  Some research groups have reported increases in blood sugar and sharp declines in insulin secretion in diabetics of both the type I and II category.

Note:  It is important to keep flax seed oil out of light and refrigerate it once it is received.


Order:  Jarrow Certified Organic Flaxseed Oil

Article:  Junk-food Diet 'Makes Children Badly Behaved' - Omega 3 Fatty Acids

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