Flaxseeds are the richest commercial source of plant-based Omega 3 fatty acids. The prominent Omega 3 in flaxseed oil is alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is the parent compound of Omega 3 and can be converted by enzymes into the longer chain Omega 3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosaheaxaenoic acid).
There is controversy around the issue of how much ALA is converted into EPA and DHA. Humans have enzymes which can facilitate the conversion but unfortunately Western eating habits interfere with the conversion. There are a number of factors which hinder this conversion:
High intake of Omega 6 relative to Omega 3.
A deficiency of the nutritional co-factors vitamins B3, B6, C, the minerals zinc and magnesium support conversion enzymes.
Trans-fatty acids destroy the conversion enzymes and tissues have to manufacture new ones to replace those damaged by trans-fats.
Most people are aware of the benefits of consuming Essential Fatty Acids from sources such as fish or flaxseed. We often hear Omega 3’s have a positive effect on cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation and immune function.
One of the most important roles of Fatty Acids has to deal with cell membrane dysfunction. Lipids, or Fatty Acids are the primary components of our cell membranes. A relative deficiency of Essential Fatty Acids in cellular membranes make it difficult for the cell membrane to perform its vital function. A poor diet too high in saturated fat and trans fatty acids lead to membranes that are much less fluid in nature. If there is a disturbance in the membrane structure or function, all cellular processes are disrupted. Without a healthy membrane, cells lose their ability to hold water, electrolytes and vital nutrients. They also lose their ability to be controlled by regulating hormones and [...]
There has been a lot of talk about the health benefits of flaxseed oil but many people don’t know exactly what it is and what it specifically does. Flax is a good source of plant omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber and other nutrients. It’s nutrient composition differs from that of other major oil seeds such as canola and sunflower. It’s important to get the facts straight to make the best choice when purchasing flaxseed oil.
What is Flax and Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil comes from the seeds of the flax plant. According to the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute, a flax seed is about 40% oil by weight. Of this oil, 55% of it is omega-3 fatty acid.
Flax is unique because, traditionally, the oil hasn’t been used much. The seed, however, has been used whole, cracked, or ground into flour then used in [...]
(NaturalNews) There may be more benefits to eating flaxseed than simply its tendency to promote regularity and prevent the onset of Type-2 diabetes. An index of research compiled by Sayer Ji over at GreenMedInfo.com reveals that flaxseed is also rich in hormone-modulating factors such as phytoestrogens, which can actually help reduce harmful estrogen activity in the body, particularly as such activity is related to spurring the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Ji explains that, based on the findings of numerous studies, it appears as though flaxseed is fully capable of protecting against breast, prostate, and other hormone-related cancers without the need for side effect-ridden pharmaceutical drugs. The key activity responsible for this benefit, he says, is Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulation (SERM), or the ability to down-regulate estrogen activity in tissues where it can cause harm, and up-regulate it in other places [...]