Flaxseed or No Flaxseed?

It has come to my attention that flaxseed may not be something I want to consume after all. I’m posting the information I’ve found so far, each article in a separate thread. Here’s the first…

Scientists warn too much of ‘superfood’ porridge topping flaxseed 'could cause cyanide poisoning’

  • Flaxseed contains a compound that can produce cyanide gas as it degrades
  • Adults could end up ill if they consume just three teaspoons of it in one sitting
  • Swedish authorities have already advised against eating the ground product

It is the fashionable superfood recommended by wellness gurus as a perfect way to start the day when it’s sprinkled on porridge.

But scientists are warning that eating too much flaxseed could cause cyanide poisoning.

Also known as linseed, it is rich in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients, and in the current trend is added to breakfast cereal or blended into smoothies.

But the seeds also contain a naturally occurring compound called amygdalin, a type of ‘cyanogenic glycoside’ that can produce cyanide gas as it degrades.

More cyanide is released if the flaxseed has been ground – a form in which it is commonly sold, as the seeds themselves are quite hard.

Now scientists at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have published a report warning that eating as little as a third of a teaspoon of ground flaxseed can be dangerous for a small child.

Adults could end up ill if they consume just three teaspoons of it at one sitting. Signs of cyanide poisoning include headache, confusion, agitation, irregular heart beat and trouble breathing. In severe cases, it can be lethal.

Long-term damage including neurological problems can result from repeated exposure.

The EFSA’s report concludes that eating 1.3g of ground flaxseed – a third of a teaspoon – could result in the amount of cyanide in a toddler’s body reaching dangerous levels.

All its figures are based on a ‘worst case scenario’ which assumes the flaxseed contains a high concentration of cyanogenic glycoside. The report warns: ‘Taking into account all uncertainties, a risk for younger age groups cannot be excluded if ground linseed (eg when put in a blender) is consumed.’

The 1.3g figure is for a toddler who is small for their age. By comparison, an average-sized adult could develop cyanide poisoning if they consumed 10.9g of ground flaxseed – just less than three teaspoons – in a meal.

Many people might eat more than that. Health food shop Holland & Barrett, which sells Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed, says on its website: ‘We recommend each person takes 25 to 30g = two heaped spoonfuls daily.’

It enthuses: ‘Flaxseed has been called one of the most powerful plant foods on the market and is rich in calcium, which contributes towards strong teeth and healthy bones.’

The EFSA report, which looks at potential cyanide content in a variety of foods, names flaxseed/linseed alongside bitter almonds as one of ‘the foods with the highest occurrence values [of cyanide]’.

Swedish authorities have already advised people against eating ground flaxseed. A government website warns: ‘The National Food Agency totally discourages eating crushed flaxseed.’

The Swedish agency explains: ‘When eating whole flax seeds, only a small proportion of flax seeds break when chewed on. The vast majority are swallowed whole and therefore the risk of consuming harmful amounts of hydrogen cyanide is less compared to eating crushed flax seeds.’

But it goes on: ‘When flax seeds are crushed or ground, the content of flax seeds becomes more accessible to the body. This increases the risk of getting harmful amounts of hydrogen cyanide.’

Last night, the UK Food Standards Agency said it was aware of the EFSA’s report and the matter was being ‘kept under review’.

A spokesman said it should be noted that the EFSA opinion makes clear it is ‘conservative in nature’, adding: ‘The assessment is therefore more likely to overestimate risk than underestimate it.’

Linwoods said it had been selling milled flaxseed for 15 years and was unaware of any adverse effects from consuming it.

‘All our products are produced to the highest standards,’ it added. Holland & Barrett said it had ‘no reason to believe’ the ground flaxseed contains the concentration of cyanide that would present a risk.’

http://www.naturalhealingmagazine.com`

WARNING: GROUND FLAXSEED CAN BE TOXIC AND SHOULDN’T BE EATEN

Admin | May 7, 2017 | Health and Beauty | 1 Comment

Flaxseeds are considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber which are important for your digestion and cardiovascular health. However, a recent warning from Sweden’s NFA (National Food Agency) says a completely different story. According to Swedish experts, ground flaxseeds are not so healthy as they may seem, and might even be dangerous for our health!

Although some people dismiss the claim as it’s coming from a foreign country, the regulations of certain foods around the world definitely affects food safety. Flaxseed oil is considered a herbal supplement in the USA, but is not regulated by the FDA. However, Sweden’s NFA has put ground flaxseed on the toxic list and deems it unsafe for consumption. Still, ground flaxseed is sold in stores around the world, which is why the FDA released a warning. “Until we have more information, the public should refrain from eating ground flaxseed,” says Jan Sjögren, the chairman of the NFA.

Flaxseeds contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and a compound known as linamarin which is turned to hydrogen cyanide in the body, and even prussic acid on some occasions. Both compounds are highly dangerous and may even be fatal in bigger amounts. The NFA suggest avoiding ground flaxseed, but recommends whole flaxseed in amounts of 1-2 tablespoons per day.

At the moment, flaxseeds are sold around the world without any kind of warning. As it’s a natural product and is not regulated in the USA, it might be better to avoid it for the moment. If you love them in your meals and smoothies, at least use whole flaxseeds.

Source:

www.svt.se

www.livsmedelsverket.se

Bad Side Effects of Flaxseed

By Gord Kerr Updated May 22, 2019

Reviewed by Janet Renee, MS, RD

Flax seeds on wooden spoon

Flax seeds can result in constipation.

Image Credit: Amarita/iStock/GettyImages

Flaxseeds are tiny, dark-brown or golden-colored seeds of the flax plant. They have a very mild, nutty flavor and can be eaten whole, ground into powder, used as an oil or taken in a pill form as a supplement. Adding some flaxseed into your daily diet is a great way to incorporate dietary fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, providing you with health benefits that outweigh any flaxseed side effects.

Tip

Flaxseed provides the most benefits if eaten in ground form, as whole flaxseed can pass through your digestive tract undigested if you don’t chew it thoroughly.

Nutritional Flaxseed Benefits

Flaxseed benefits include a low calorie and carbohydrate content, yet they are a good source of protein and fiber . The nutritional profile of whole flaxseed differs slightly from ground flaxseed.

For comparison per tablespoon, which is about 10 grams for whole flaxseed and 7 grams for ground, flaxseed offers the following macronutrients, according to the USDA:

  • Calories : whole flaxseed, 55; ground, 37
  • Carbohydrates : whole flaxseed, 3 grams; ground, 2 grams
  • Protein : whole flaxseed, 1.9 grams; ground, 1.3 grams
  • Total Fat : whole flaxseed, 4.3 grams; ground, 3 grams
  • Cholesterol : 0

Fiber to Help Digestion

The fiber in flaxseed is found primarily in the coat of the seed. One tablespoon of whole flaxseed contains 2.8 grams of dietary fiber , which is 11 percent of your recommended daily value. Fiber helps to keep your bowel movements regular.

Flaxseed is a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber and has traditionally been valued for its laxative properties. Insoluble fiber in flaxseed remains undigested in the intestinal tract. It absorbs water and adds bulk to your digested food to help it move smoothly through your stomach and intestines. Soluble fiber slows digestion by attracting water and turning into a gel, which may help to maintain blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol, according to a study published in Journal of Food Science and Technology in January 2014.

In addition, a high-fiber diet can help with diverticulosis. Penn State Hershey recommends an intake of 15 grams of flaxseed per day to treat this disorder.

Fiber and Digestive Side Effects

Flaxseed, like any fiber, should be taken with plenty of water. Without enough fluid, whole and ground flaxseed side effects may result, including constipation. In rare cases, it may cause an intestinal blockage. Symptoms of a blockage can include crampy, intermittent abdominal pain, lack of ability to eliminate normal feces, distended stomach and fever.

USDA says that up to 12 percent flaxseed can safely be eaten as an ingredient in food.

Read more: Signs and Symptoms of Too Much Fiber in the Diet

Healthy Fats in Flaxseed

Of the total fat, flaxseed contains only a minimal amount of saturated fat0.38 grams. It is recommended that you limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your daily calorie content.

Flaxseed is a rich source of healthy, polyunsaturated fat , with 2.9 grams per tablespoon, and a moderate source of monounsaturated fat , with .78 grams per tablespoon. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your blood, which may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to American Heart Association.

Read more: Monounsaturated Fat Vs. Polyunsaturated Fat

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseed is the best plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acid , which is vital to the health of your reproductive system, eyes, brain, blood vessels, lungs and immune system, says National Institutes of Health.

Flaxseed is also a rich source of linolenic acid and lignans . According to a September 2014 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, whole or ground flaxseed is recommended as a viable supplement for its omega 3s, linolenic acid and lignans that play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseaseand cancer, including breast, colon, ovary and prostate.

Read more: 17 Reasons Why You Probably Need More Omega-3s in Your Diet

Vitamins in Flaxseed

B vitamins are needed to provide your body with energy for physiological functions involving your nerves, muscles, skin, heart and brain. Flaxseeds contain almost all the B vitamins, including:

  • Thiamine
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Folate

Among the many benefits of the B vitamins is that they may help reduce stress and fatigue as well as improve your feeling of well-being. In an Australian study, a group of full-time employees given antioxidants and B vitamins had an improvement in cognitive ability and mood.

The evidence, published in the Nutrition Journal in December 2014, suggested that dietary supplementation of B vitamins may be useful in reducing occupational stress, increasing work productivity and decreasing absenteeism.

Flaxseed also contains a small amount of vitamin K .

Read more: Foods High in B Vitamins

Wealth of Minerals

Flaxseed is rich in many minerals that are important to your health. Per tablespoon, whole flaxseed contains:

  • Calcium : 26 milligrams
  • Iron : 0.6 milligrams
  • Magnesium : 40 milligrams
  • Phosphorus : 66 milligrams
  • Potassium : 84 milligrams
  • Zinc : 0.45 milligrams
  • Copper : 0.13 milligrams
  • Manganese : 0.26 milligrams
  • Selenium : 2.6 micrograms

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Flaxseed contains three important minerals that contribute to heart health. These are magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Magnesium is important for regulating muscle and nerve function, including the relaxation of blood vessels that help maintain your blood pressure. Potassium also helps blood vessels relax and plays a role in conducting electrical signals in your nervous system and heart, which protects against irregular heartbeat. Calcium helps manage your blood pressure by helping blood vessels tighten and loosen as needed.

Another one of flaxseeds’ benefits relating to heart health is due to its rich dietary source of linolenic acid, lignans and fiber. Researchers explored the effect of flaxseed intake on blood pressure by analyzing 11 studies. Results indicated flaxseed slightly reduced systolic and more so, diastolic blood pressure.

The conclusions, published in the Journal of Nutrition in April 2015, reported the beneficial reduction in blood pressure was greatest with the consumption of whole flaxseed for a duration of more than 12 weeks .

Toxic Flaxseed Side Effects

It is suggested that you should not eat raw or unripe flaxseed because of the potential of toxins, specifically cyanide . If you have concerns about flaxseeds’ side effects, rest assured the risk is very rare. Although some compounds in flaxseed may release cyanogenic glycosides — as much as 7.8 micrometers per gram of flaxseed, researchers reported that your body is able to detoxify cyanide in an amount dependent on the amino acid content in your diet.

The review, published in Trends in Food Science and Technology in July 2014, concluded that toxicity from cyanide in flaxseed is rare except in cases in which it is consumed in large amounts in a low protein diet. The report determined there is generally no harmful effect with prolonged consumption of flaxseed.

References

5 Side Effects Of Flaxseeds You May Not Be Aware Of

Side Effects Of Flax Seeds

The mucilage in flaxseeds can have a strong laxative effect and can significantly increase the number of bowel movements you have in a day. Their estrogen content can alter the menstrual cycle, interfere with sexual development, and fertility if taken in excess. Flaxseeds are also known to cause mild rhinitis/asthma, nausea, allergic reactions during pregnancy.

Flaxseeds have hit the headlines for all the right reasons, with the goodness of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant lignans (the naturally occurring form of estrogen), micronutrients such as copper and magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, and B6, and mucilage packing a punch in every seed.

Doctors and nutritionists are recommending flaxseeds as a dietary supplement. Numerous studies vouch that they can help lower cholesterol, aid weight loss, and even lower the risk of cancer. They can also help keep your skin, nail, and hair healthy.

Is the picture all rosy though? While flaxseeds are mother nature’s answer to many of our ailments, there are a few possible side effects you need to look out for.

1. Diarrhea Or Constipation

One likely effect is on the digestive system. Eating flaxseeds can have gastrointestinal side effects and can significantly increase the number of bowel movements you have in a day. This means multiple trips to the bathroom to alleviate bloating, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, and the like.

There are two reasons why things could go a bit off track with flaxseeds, especially when you overdo them. One, the high fiber content of flaxseeds can be too much at times for some of us with a more delicate digestive system. Second, the mucilage in flaxseeds can have a strong laxative effect. As much as it can help in both diarrhea and constipation, flaxseeds can also backfire (pun unintended!) and have the reverse effect.

Flaxseeds should ideally be had with water or other fluids – else, it could worsen constipation and even cause an intestinal block.

2. Estrogen Imbalance

The phytoestrogenic nature of flaxseeds can have a downside. It’s often a mixed bag for some women – flaxseeds can help treat hormonal imbalances and ease menopausal difficulties like hot flashes on one side but they can also significantly alter the menstrual cycle on the other. The estrogen content can even interfere with sexual development and fertility if taken in excess.

3. Allergic Reaction

If you are prone to allergies, especially related to cereals or grains, check for any possible allergic reaction to flaxseeds before you include them in your diet. The seeds have been known to cause vomiting, nausea, and allergic reactions, even leading to life-threatening anaphylaxis in some cases.6 It can truly be an occupational hazard if you work in close proximity to flaxseed powder, maybe as a chef or baker (the powder is a great egg substitute too). It has been found to cause mild rhinitis – that is, stuffy nose due to the swelling of the mucous membranes in the nose – or asthma when inhaled regularly.

4. Increased Risk Of Premature Birth

Pregnancy is a time to exercise extra caution about what you eat and don’t eat. Even seemingly harmless natural foods can cause an untoward reaction; so it’s best to check with your doctor if are veering off your regular diet. As it turns out, flaxseed oil is to be avoided by pregnant women, especially in their second or third semester – the risk of premature birth and low birth weight has been found to increase almost four times.

5. Reaction With Other Medication

We know that flaxseeds are high in fiber and tend to block the digestive passage in a way. They can also reduce the absorption of other medicines or supplements and are best avoided when you are taking other oral medication. They may also interfere with or modulate the effects of certain medication like blood thinning or blood sugar medicines. So talk to your doctor before you add them to your diet.

More Than 1 Spoon Of Flaxseeds May Have Side Effects

Doctors recommend just a spoonful a day for the seed to work its magic. It’s best that the seeds are soaked or powdered before eating for easier absorption by the body. In fact, flaxseeds in whole or oil form can be quite difficult for the digestive tract to process and can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues when consumed regularly.

The Benefits Outweigh The Risk

So is this one more superfood flying out the window? Not necessarily! The goodness of flaxseeds far outweighs the possible downsides. Add the powder to just about anything – flour, batter, cereals, smoothies, or just plain yogurt, and your body has a lot to be thankful for – cardiovascular protection, a healthy digestive system, and hormonal balance being key. So do get in those flaxseeds, but remember, moderation is the operative word!

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

FLAXSEED SIDE EFFECTS: THIS “SUPERFOOD” CAN BE BAD FOR YOU

What is a superfood? It’s supposed to be healthy and offer you more benefits than an average food.

But just like the definition of “healthy” is subjective, so is superfood.

Flax is almost universally marketed as being a superfood.

Technically not a grain, it’s touted as being Paleo friendly, gluten free, and good for you.

At first glance, that appears to make sense.

For a standard serving (3 tbsp) just consider the health benefits of flaxseed:

  • More omega 3 than salmon
  • High protein with 6g per serving
  • High fiber with 32% of daily value
  • Low carb at only 3% of daily value
  • Moderate source of iron
  • Gluten free
  • Sugar free
  • Cholesterol free
  • Reduces cholesterol absorption
  • Long shelf life
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May help menopause symptoms
  • May lower risk of breast and prostate cancers

Although not all are proven, these health advantages have been suggested by studies. (1) (2) (3)

Can you eat too much flax seed?

With a list like that, you probably want to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many people do just that and if you’re buying organic foods, chances are this seed is inside many of them and you don’t even know it:

  • At Whole Foods, we found it in nearly half of the frozen veggie burgers for sale.
  • Many “healthy” cereals and pre-mixed oatmeal packets contain it.
  • Likewise for “healthy” multigrain tortilla chips from brands like Garden of Eatin’, Food Should Taste Good, and Trader Joe’s.
  • When excluding rice crackers, over 70% of the gluten free cracker brands on the market contain flax.
  • Popular protein powders including some from Vega, Garden of Life and Sunwarrior contain the ground raw seeds. Some brands have high amounts, such as Vega One where it’s 2nd on the ingredient list.
  • The number of vegan protein bars using it as an ingredient continues to climb every year.
  • Some cold-pressed bottled juices are now adding it so they can advertise omega 3 on the label.

If you do your grocery shopping at places like Whole Foods or choose the non-GMO and organic brands sold elsewhere, it’s almost impossible to avoid this ingredient . Not even the local Whole Foods here in Los Angeles offers flax-free crackers, other than the 1g of protein per 150 calorie kind of rubbish (rice, corn, and potato based). That’s why the men here end up buying many of the shelf-stable products like that online. And yes, if you’re a man, you need to be very concerned about its prevalence .

Why is flax bad for you?

Like animals, plants have hormones. Phytoestrogens are what the plant-based versions of estrogen are called.

Phytoestrogens are certainly less potent than actual estrogen found in dairy and meat, as that is identical to human estrogen. Still though, the plant-based sources should remain a concern for those trying to avoid them.

The reason flax is unhealthy is because it is the most potent source of phytoestrogen. If you look at the the 50 highest sources, you will see that flax seeds (but not the oil) are exponentially higher than any other source. Even the #2 spot – raw soybeans – measure 73% lower.

Spots #2-9 are all soy-based foods. After the raw beans, it’s soy nuts, tofu, tempeh, and textured soy protein. Their estrogenic activity comes from isoflavones, while flax gets it from lignans.

Male bodybuilders shun soy protein powder, but its total phytoestrogen content is only 8840.7 µg per 100g. Why aren’t they also shunning these seeds, which are a shocking 4,200% (42 times) higher than soy protein, at 379,380 for the same weight!

Unfortunately some of the health benefits for men and women are likely because of these estrogen-mimicking lignans . That’s what research suggests regarding the possibility of prostate and breast cancer risk reduction. (4) (5) (6)

Truth about prostate cancer risk

Do you know what else lowers prostate cancer risk? Chopping off your balls.

Because that would lower your testosterone levels, just like what lignans do (7):

“…lignan has been shown to reduce testosterone (total and free), and 5α-reductase, the enzyme which converts testosterone to its most active form, dihydrotestosterone [DHT].”

Of course, castration is just about the worst nightmare for any man and doing so for cancer risk reduction would be insanity. Unless you were already diagnosed and had no other choice, due to an aggressive form of the cancer. (8)

Just like how castration is not a viable preventive measure for healthy men, the same holds true for using lignans as a preventive measure. At least for the majority of men.

Finasteride (Propecia) works by reducing 5a-reductase activity, so the reviews of flaxseed for hair growth may have some legitimacy behind them. Though if it works, at what cost?

Now it is true that for men who have high testosterone, or a ratio of too much testosterone to estrogen (yes, men need some estrogen too), then eating lignans might be good for you. In that scenario, any side effects from regular use of flax seeds may actually be useful.

But to universally advise all men to eat flax to possibly reduce prostate cancer risk is dangerous advice. Many middle-aged and older men have too low of testosterone, so lowering it further may be harmful.

Beginning at age 30, if you’re a man your testosterone decreases by approximately 1% per year. This is why the rate of hypogonadism (low testosterone) increases with age, as seen in this graph (9):

After age 60, you will see around 20% of men have hypogonadism, as seen with the light blue bar for that decade.

By the time you’re in your 80’s, the odds of you having low T is the same as flipping a coin… a 50/50 chance.

Those men with low T would not benefit by having these estrogen-like compounds in their bloodstream. If it’s just the omega 3 advantage you’re after, stick with the refined oil instead of the seed.

Bottom line: Your doctor needs to measure your hormone levels to determine whether or not it’s a good idea to eat flax everyday.

Breast cancer risk a different story

In the Journal of Clinical Oncology , there was an editorial titled “Flaxseed and Breast Cancer: What Should We Tell Our Patients?” The author was wary of all the advice being given to women that they should eat more of this superfood (10):

“…until a trial of lignan intake/supplementation and disease end points quantifies the risks and benefits of such an intervention, the prudent clinician should be wary of recommending high doses of any dietary compound solely on the basis of laboratory and observational epidemiologic studies.”

Now that was a number of years ago, in 2011. Since then, there was one small clinical trial involving 24 postmenopausal women who had breast cancer that was of the estrogen receptor positive type (ER+). In other words, estrogen affects that type. (11)

They wanted to see if there were side effects or interactions of combining the hormone based chemotherapy anastrozole (Arimidex) with a flaxseed supplement. None were observed. Interesting, but irrelevant to the general population looking to reduce their risk.

While the effects on risk haven’t been clinically studied, there is plenty of other data to suggest it may be helpful.

MCF7 is the most studied breast cancer cell line in the world. In lab research using it, flax seed lignans were found to boost production of estradiol (estrogen) (12):

“Production of estradiol is elevated in MCF7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner after stimulation with isoflavone and lignan extracts from Linum usitatissimum [flax].”

They also seemed to positively affect the estrogen receptor (ER) expression in these MCF7 cells.

Not all breast cancer is estrogen receptor dependent. In both dependent and non-dependent cell lines, lignans have been found to have an antiproliferative effect (reduce growth). (13)

Any sort of human study to measure cancer risk is difficult . Be wary of those which just measure risk over a one or two year period, because that’s far too little time. After the initial cell mutation which causes breast cancer, it takes 6 to 8 years before the tumor is even big enough to be seen on a mammogram. (14)

That’s one of the reasons why conducting clinical studies on diet and this disease is so difficult. To be done right, it takes a very long term review.

That being said, there was a short-term study which hints that lignans may help. They weren’t testing it as a preventive measure, but rather they were measuring the effects it had on the tumors from the time diagnosis ’til surgical removal. On average, this was about 5 weeks. (15)

During that waiting time:

  • 19 patients ate a muffin everyday containing 25 grams of flax seed.
  • 13 patients ate a non-flax muffin (placebo).

The results? All were good signs:

  • 71% reduction in expression of c-erbB2 (overexpression is bad).
  • 34.2% reduction in tumor cell proliferation (according to Ki-67 labeling index).
  • 30.7% increase in the tumor’s apoptosis (controlled cell death) in the flax muffin group, but not in the placebo group.

Their conclusion?

“Dietary flaxseed has the potential to reduce tumor growth in patients with breast cancer.”

To reiterate, that’s their opinion. This theory has not been proven.

Good for women, bad for men?

You can’t make that kind of gross generalization, because as pointed out, some men have too much testosterone. Phytoestrogens – like lignans and isoflavones – in their daily diet may be useful.

However in middle-aged and older adults, as a general trend, it seems men would be less likely to be helped from lignans, and in fact, possibly harmed by them.

With women this appears far less likely. After menopause, estrogen production decreases.

That’s why hormone replacement therapy is so widely used, to help offset that which is lost. If phytoestrogens work and have an estrogenic effect on the human body (which is still debated somewhat) then the supplemental effect would likely be an advantage for aging women.

Due to the potency of this plant versus other phytoestrogen food sources, adverse reactions need to be considered for both genders, but especially for males.

Side effects of flaxseed

  • Upset stomach
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Lower diastolic blood pressure
  • Reduced blood clotting
  • Gynecomastia (male breast tissue)
  • Decreased libido
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Acrylamide (if toasted/roasted)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Possible pregnancy dangers

Is flaxseed safe during pregnancy? Given its known ability to mimic estrogen and influence production, eating it in large amounts or everyday may be harmful. It may throw off hormonal balances.

To be clear this is only a hypothetical health risk, because pregnant women have not been studied, nor have those who are breastfeeding. Small amounts are likely safe, but frequent or daily consumption should not be done without consulting your doctor.

oatmeal flavors Reactions related to the digestive tract are due to its high fiber content. Those who have IBS with constipation or another disorder which causes intestinal blockages need to be careful when eating them, as well as chia seeds.

Although not proven, there has been more than one study which has observed lower blood pressure with consumption of flax. For most people that would be a good thing. But for the minority of the population who have hypotension (too low of pressure) then this side effect could be dangerous. Likewise for those on medication to carefully control their blood pressure. (16)

Lower fasting blood glucose has also been observed . Normally having this lower would be helpful for those with diabetes, but it could create a drug interaction and drop the level too low . (17)

Gynecomastia , lower libido, and decreased muscle mass and are not symptoms which women would be expected to experience. These are things men need to watch out for.

Refined flax oil should be safe for men, since it does not typically contain lignans. Watch out though because a number of brands are advertised as “high-lignan oil” and that’s because they add the ground seeds in after refining the oil.

Can you be allergic to flax seeds?

Since it is plant proteins we are allergic to, refined flax oil is unlikely to be a problem since only parts per million of the protein would be present. However with whole or ground flax, you may have a sensitivity if you experience hives, itchy eyes, or other common symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Fortunately, how many people that have a flax allergy is very low.

person's back with skin prick allergy testUsing 1,317 patients, prick-in-prick tests (PIP) found positive reactions 5.8% of the time, but that was almost all due to cross-reactions. Further testing found that only 0.15% of the 1,317 people had a positive allergy to flax. That’s about 1 out of 700 people . (18)

Very few case studies have been written about flax-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) reactions.

In Japan, the first wasn’t even documented until 2014 when a 29-year old woman ate bread containing the seed. She experienced anaphylactic shock. (19)

In addition to a handful of case studies involving anaphylaxis , contact dermatitis has also been reported after ingestion. (20)

The takeaway

Even though the antiproliferative and menopausal relief benefits are unproven, the evidence suggests this food is probably good for women, on average.

If you’re a guy, consider these superfoods for men instead.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Flaxseed – Good or Bad?

by Magdalena Wszelaki | Last updated Mar 4, 2020 | Articles, Estrogen Dominance, Menopause, Thyroid | 77 comments

What you will learn in this article:

  • History of flaxseed
  • Harvesting flaxseed
  • How flaxseed got a bad rep
  • Flaxseed is estrogenic, so it’s bad for me?
  • How does flaxseed work as an “estrogenic adaptogen”
  • The amazing healing benefits of flaxseed
    – Helps with estrogen dominance
    – Helps menopause and postmenopause
    – Helps reduce risk and growth of estrogenic cancers
    – Source of insoluble and soluble fiber
    – Anti-inflammatory agent
    – Cardiovascular health
  • Best ways to use (and not to use) flaxseed
    What about flaxseed oil?
  • Who may get a negative response to flaxseed?
  • Flaxseed for men?
  • Bottom line – know your sources!

Few foods are as controversial as flaxseed. Some women swear by it, others fear it.

In this article, I will lay out the science and the oversimplification of information that has earned flaxseed its bad reputation. After reading this article, I hope you give this seed a well-deserved consideration.

History of flaxseed

“Flaxseed is one of the oldest crops, having been cultivated since the beginning of civilization (Laux 2011). The Latin name of the flaxseed is Linum usitatissimum, which means “very useful”. Flax was first introduced in the United States by colonists, primarily to produce fiber for clothing (Laux 2011).

Every part of the flaxseed plant is utilized commercially, either directly or after processing. The stem yields good quality fibers having high strength and durability (Singh et al. 2011). Flax has been used until the 1990s principally for the fabrication of clothes (linen) and papers, while flaxseed oil and its sub-products are used in animal feed formulation (Singh et al. 2011). There is a small difference in using the terms flaxseed and linseed. Flaxseed is used to describe flax when consumed as food by humans while linseed is used to describe flax when it is used in the industry and feed purpose (Morris 2008).” Source

Harvesting flaxseed

Have you ever seen flaxseed available anywhere other than a supermarket?

If you live in Canada or North Dakota where the majority of flaxseed is grown, you might have seen fields of these pretty purple flowers.

The flowers then transform into pods. Each pod holds between 6 and 8 flaxseeds. They get picked and shaken out of their pods.

Like with many foods, flaxseed can be a powerful, healing food that can help women, especially those struggling with their hormones. You will also learn that some women should not use it.

How flaxseed got a bad reputation

Flaxseed got a bad rep from the blogosphere – mainly for being called “estrogenic” and therefore “causing cancers” and hormonal problems in women. This could not be further from the truth (most of the time, see more below) and I have therefore spent hours researching and writing the below article to show you otherwise.

Just because something is estrogenic, does not make it a bad thing right away. Yes, skincare products containing parabens and phthalates are estrogenic and that’s not a form of estrogen you should ever be exposed to. These forms of estrogens, also known as xenoestrogens, have been linked to cancers.

The blogosphere has concluded that if flaxseed is estrogenic, then it must be as bad as the synthetic estrogens found in these toxic products.

This is an oversimplification. It makes no sense to compare a plant-derived estrogen with a synthetically-derived estrogen. Unfortunately, this is shabby journalism, poor research, and a pure laziness to fact-check.

It’s important to check where you are getting your information from . I searched for medical studies that show the harmful effects of flaxseed on women and…found none. Bloggers and social media “writers” who make such claims offer no citations. Be leery when a writer states “studies show” and offers no links to substantiating resources.

It’s a real shame because hundreds of thousands of readers are missing out on a food that can not only help with a ton of symptoms but could even save lives.

Having said that, there is a sliver of people who, like with many other foods, have a “paradoxical” response to flaxseed – more on that below. These people, however, are in a vast minority.

Bottom line: Be selective where you get your information from and whom you choose to trust.

Flaxseed is estrogenic, so it’s bad for me?

There is a fear of estrogen-containing foods, such as flaxseed, which is not only wrong and unjust but can also prevent you from reversing symptoms of estrogen dominance quickly and effectively.

Just because you experience estrogen dominance, does not mean you should stop ingesting gentle plant-based estrogens . You need estrogen – as a woman you need it to have healthy breasts, butt, periods, glowing hair, and skin, etc. The issue is not to cut out estrogen but to break it down properly.

Most women with estrogen dominance do not suffer because of too much estrogen but because they are not breaking down and evacuating these estrogens well enough. Flaxseed can help shift estrogen metabolism from the “dirty” estrogen in the direction of the “clean” ones.

The only thing you want to remove from your life as much as possible are xenoestrogens which are synthetic estrogens that mimic estrogen without doing the right work. They are found in all commercial skin care products, perfumes, and cleaning products.

Having said that, I have met a few women (they are the minority) who have a paradoxical response to flaxseed – their estrogen dominance symptoms worsen. If that’s you (be sure not to make any other significant changes during this time), please stop flaxseed and look into the supplement protocolto see how else you can support estrogen metabolism.

How does flaxseed work as an “estrogenic adaptogen”

Among all foods, flaxseed contains the highest amount of lignans, a form of polyphenols, which are high in phytoestrogens.

Let’s unpack this a little.

The word “phyto” comes from Greek and means “plant” or “that which has grown.” Therefore phytoestrogen is a plant-derived, completely natural form of estrogen.

You might have heard the word “polyphenols” being thrown around; so what is it?

Polyphenols are a group of over 500 phytochemicals which are naturally occurring micronutrients in plants. They are highly medicinal in nature and many supplement companies are cashing in on that.

Some of the polyphenols include quercetin (found in apples), catechins (in dark chocolate and cherries), lignans (in flaxseed), resveratrol (in pistachios, wine, and blueberries) and curcumin (in turmeric).

There are three types of phytoestrogens: Lignans (enterolactone, enterodiol), isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, biochanin A), and coumestans. Genistein and daidzein are found in soy, another phytoestrogen.

The highest concentration of phytoestrogens, however, is found in lignans.

When plant lignans are ingested, they can be metabolized by the intestinal bacteria in the large intestine into enterolactone. Enterolactone is the bioactive form of phytoestrogen.

It is enterolactone that binds to estrogen receptors, blocking and competing with estrogen which may help to reduce the growth of estrogenic cancers.

One of the most fascinating chemical phenomena about lignans is that that can act as weak estrogen agonists (promoter), partial agonists, or as antagonists (blocker) to endogenous estrogens (internally produced) and xenoestrogens which are synthetic estrogens found in much commercial skincare, cosmetic and cleaning products.

In short, flaxseed is an estrogenic adaptogen ; it can act as an estrogen amplifier or estrogen blocker depending on what the body needs.

How fascinating is that?! For that reason I coined the term “estrogenic adaptogen” – the seed adapts to what your body needs.

This explains why flaxseed has been used for a wide spectrum of women issues by menopausal and postmenopausal women by gently and naturally raising their estrogen levels as well as menstruating women who struggle with too much of the “dirty” estrogen that causes estrogen dominance (and the result is PMS, fibroids, endometriosis, thyroid nodules, etc).

I have written extensively about estrogen dominance (what it is)(what are estrogenic cancers) and I’m very passionate about it because I feel that 80% of women experience estrogen dominance at some point in their lives, yet, 80% of them don’t know that they have it.

One powerful yet simple way to use flaxseed in your daily life is the seed rotation method – you can learn about it by downloading the Seed Rotation Starter Kit.

The seed rotation method, however simple, has been one of the most popular methods used by our community. Because of the adaptogenic features of flaxseed, I see women both with too much estrogen and too little estrogen benefiting from this potent seed.

Many have reported:

  • Less or no hot flashes
  • Less or no night sweats
  • Less or no PMS (including bloating, pain, food swings)
  • Better sleep
  • More regular periods
  • Return of periods
  • Weight loss

The amazing healing benefits of flaxseed

There is a strong body of research to support the claim that flaxseed is hugely beneficial and can change lives. Here are the reasons why I use and recommend flaxseed to women suffering from PMS, all the way to post-menopausal symptoms.

#1 Helps with estrogen dominance

Symptoms of estrogen dominance include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy flows
  • Terrible PMS (bloating, moods, pain, energy, headaches)
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Breast lumps
  • Thyroid Nodules
  • Fibrocystic and painful breasts
  • Low thyroid
  • Hair loss and brittle hair
  • Weight gain around the hip and thighs
  • Water retention
  • Cellulite

The reason why a woman experiences these is NOT that she has too much estrogen but because of how she BREAKS down these estrogens.

If you have a bit of biochemistry interest, the problematic estrogens are:

  • Too much estradiol E2 (the “aggressive” estrogen) as compared to estrone E1 and estriol E3
  • Estrone gets broken down to 2, 4 and 16 hydroxyestrone – 2 is protective where else 4 and 16 hydroxyestrones are antagonistic and cause symptoms of estrogen dominance.

The good news? Flaxseed has been proven to push the metabolism of these estrogens in the protective direction, hence helping with symptoms of estrogen dominance.

Flaxseed interrupts the circulation of estrogens in two ways:

  • It can bind unconjugated estrogens in the digestive tract, which are then excreted in the stool.
  • Beneficially affects the composition of intestinal bacteria and reduce intestinal b-glucuronidase activity, resulting in lowered estrogens via the conjugation of estrogen and reduced reabsorption.

Flaxseed also helps with:

  • It inhibits aromatase activity, thus decreasing conversion of testosterone and androstenedione into estrogens in fat and breast cells.
  • Women consuming 10g of flaxseed per day experienced longer menstrual cycle length, increased progesterone-to-estrogen ratios, and fewer anovulatory cycles, all of which are considered to reflect improved ovarian function.

A few studies to share with you:

– Flaxseed helps reduction of thyroid cancer
– Flaxseed alleviates PMS
Reduction of fibroids in young women
– Flaxseed improves fertility

#2 Helps menopause and postmenopause

The adaptogenic properties of flaxseed can help women in menopause and postmenopause as well.

A few citations and benefits:

#3 Helps reduce risk and growth of estrogenic cancers

Estrogenic cancers include ER+ (estrogen receptor positive) breast, uterine, ovarian, thyroid and lung cancers in non-smokers.

Because of its adaptogenic quality, flaxseed can attach itself to an estrogen receptor and block the growth of the cancer cells. The “dirty” estrogens are the ones that cause and fuel the growth of some cancers.

Citations:

  • Flaxseed reduces ER+ breast cancers: “Our results suggest that flaxseed and its lignans have potent anti-estrogenic effects on estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and may prove to be beneficial in breast cancer prevention strategies in the future.” –
  • Flaxseed helps reduction of thyroid cancer
  • Flaxseed reduces tumor growth and strengthened the effects of Tamoxifen: “FS inhibited the growth of human estrogen-dependent breast cancer and strengthened the tumor-inhibitory effect of TAM at both low and high E2 levels.”

#4 Source of insoluble and soluble fiber

Flaxseed is a wonderful source of both insoluble and soluble fiber.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and it moves through the digestive system quickly, “sweeping” the waste and debris through the colon, including metabolized and harmful hormones. It also helps to bulk up the stool which helps to create a well-formed stool. Chronic constipation is one of the causes of hormonal imbalances in women – which goes to say that a good, daily bowel movement is a prerequisite to good hormonal health.

Insoluble fiber also slows down sugar metabolism, helping balance blood sugar – one of the pillars of hormonal balance.

Soluble fiber forms a gel when combined with water, it helps you feel full and satisfied with a meal so you don’t reach out for snacks and unnecessary calories. It also stabilizes blood sugar levels, lowers LDL (“bad”) blood cholesterol and is high in prebiotics – the food for probiotics.

Two tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed per day will give you the above-mentioned benefits.

This study also states that: “ In populations with low average intake of dietary fibre, an approximate doubling of total fibre intake from foods could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 40%”.

#5 Anti-inflammatory agent

If that was not enough, flaxseed also contains the highest level of plant-based Omega 3.

It can be beneficial but not for all – here is why. Flaxseed contains the highest levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It’s common amongst the vegans and vegetarians to say that nobody needs to eat fish for the Omega 3 because flaxseed is also very high in Omega 3. This is true but not for all.

The form of Omega 3 that the body benefits from is in the form of EPA and DHA. In the case of flaxseed and its ALA content, the body needs to convert ALA to EPA and DHA in the sufficient presence of vitamins B1 and B6, zinc, and magnesium. If a person is depleted in any of these (and many are), then flaxseed alone might not be the best source of the highly anti-inflammatory Omega 3. On the other hand, if the person is well nourished, then it is true – flaxseed can be a great source of Omega 3.

#6 Cardiovascular health

Cardiovascular health can be a concern in postmenopausal women. This study concluded: In conclusion, a high intake of phytoestrogens in postmenopausal women appears to be associated with a favorable metabolic cardiovascular risk profile.

This study states that ground flaxseed has LDL (“bad”) cholesterol-lowering properties and it improves insulin sensitivity.

Best ways to use (and not to use) flaxseed

A few tips on how to use flaxseed to reap its medicinal properties:

#1 Always buy it in seed form (not as pre-ground flax meal) and grind it freshly in a coffee or spice grinder. Grinding flaxseed makes lignans more bioavailable.

#2 Flaxseed oil does not contain lignans unless ground flaxseed has been added to it.

#3 Amount – One to two tablespoons per day of freshly ground flaxseed is the recommended medicinal dose.

If you want to learn how to use flaxseed in the context of seed rotation (can help with hormonal issues in menstruating and menopausal women), get the Seed Rotation Starter Kit.

What about flaxseed oil?

I’m not a fan of flaxseed oil for a few reasons:

  • It does NOT contain lignans , which are the beneficial phytoestrogens I covered above.
  • It gets oxidized very quickly and loses its medicinal properties – this is why it has to be refrigerated and kept in a dark container.
  • It contains ALA only which still needs to be converted to the bioavailable Omega 3 which is in EPA and DHA form.
  • It contains no fiber.

Who may get a negative response to flaxseed?

We get many emails from our readers confused why I would suggest flaxseed. As you can tell from the above narratives, why would I not?!

Having said that, I have met women who had, what is called, a paradoxical response to flaxseed . Instead of feeling better, their symptoms worsened.

It is not fully understood why some women experience an adverse reaction (from digestive issues to getting worse PMS, painful breasts and heavier periods) to flaxseed).

Here is my hypothesis on it:

#1 Food intolerances or allergies – some people have an allergy or intolerance to flaxseed, just the way it can happen with any other foods. If that’s you – do not eat flaxseed.

#2 Digestive sensitivity – Some people experience such dire digestive issues that the lignans and fiber found in the seeds might be too much to tolerate. If you are following the AIP diet, you can’t eat flaxseed until you are ready to re-introduce it when your GI tract is rebuilt.

#3 Gut bacteria – my research shows that for flaxseed to be active, it needs to be converted by a host of bacteria residing in the colon. It is likely that some people lack these beneficial bacteria and therefore don’t convert lignans to enterolactone which is the bioactive form of phytoestrogen.

Flaxseed for men?

I do not work with men so I have limited experience and feedback from men. The little research available shows that men might not be benefiting from flaxseed as much as women do. One studypoints out elevated prostate cancer risk and infertility.

Bottom line

It’s important to check where you are getting your information from. I searched for medical studies that show harmful effects of flaxseed on women and found none. I did, however, find a number of blogs that make such claims. None of them offer citations and only state “studies show.”

Be selective where you get your information from.

To know if flaxseed is your friend, it’s simple: Add it to your diet (just two tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed is enough) for one to two months and see how your symptoms change.

If they improve – great! Keep going; you can use flaxseed in the long term. If you feel worse, stop it immediately.

Resources

Early Life Exposure to the Phytoestrogen Enterolactone and Breast Cancer Risk in Later Years.” Breast Cancer and The Environment Research Centers.

Horn-Ross, Pamela L., et al. “Phytoestrogens and Thyroid Cancer Risk.” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, American Association for Cancer Research, 1 Jan. 2002.

Atkinson, et al. “Lignan and Isoflavone Excretion in Relation to Uterine Fibroids: a Case-Control Study of Young to Middle-Aged Women in the United States.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Dec. 2006.

Effects of flaxseed supplementation on endometrial expression of ISG17 and intrauterine prostaglandin concentrations in primiparous dairy cows submitted to GnRH-based synchronized ovulation.” Canadian Journal of Animal Science.

Franco, Oscar H, et al. “Use of Plant-Based Therapies and Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” JAMA, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 21 June 2016.

Dodin, et al. “Effects of Flaxseed Dietary Supplement on Lipid Profile, Bone Mineral Density, and Symptoms in Menopausal Women: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Wheat Germ Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” OUP Academic , Oxford University Press, 1 Mar. 2005.

Jungeström, Malin Bergman, et al. “Flaxseed and Its Lignans Inhibit Estradiol-Induced Growth, Angiogenesis, and Secretion of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Human Breast Cancer Xenografts In Vivo.” Clinical Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research, 1 Feb. 2007.

Chen, Jianmin, et al. “Dietary Flaxseed Enhances the Inhibitory Effect of Tamoxifen on the Growth of Estrogen-Dependent Human Breast Cancer (MCF-7) in Nude Mice.” Clinical Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research, 15 Nov. 2004.

Bingham, Sheila A, et al. “Dietary Fibre in Food and Protection against Colorectal Cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): an Observational Study.” Lancet (London, England), U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 May 2003.

Jackson, Maria D, et al. “Urinary Phytoestrogens and Risk of Prostate Cancer in Jamaican Men.” Cancer Causes & Control: CCC, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2010.

Xia, Yankai, et al. “Urinary Phytoestrogen Levels Related to Idiopathic Male Infertility in Chinese Men.” Environment International, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2013.

Flax seeds: The Good and The Bad

by ED

Ground flax seeds are a great nutritional supplement to most people’s diet. Flax oil is not .

The Good:

  • Flax is high in ALA, an essential fatty acid that has some health benefits.
  • Flax is high in protein
  • Flax is high in lignans, a phytonutrient that protects against breast cancer and other estrogen related cancers.
  • Eating ground flax seeds slows the growth of prostate cancer.
  • Flax is a good source of many vitamins.
  • Flax improves cardiovascular and colon health.

The Bad:

  • Most of the benefits of ALA are only realized after being converted to EPA and DHA, which the human body does very poorly. Fish oils are a much better source of these fatty acids.
  • The oils in flax seeds go rancid very quickly. Flax oil is almost useless for this reason. If you use ground flax seeds, it is best to use them immediately after grinding. Otherwise store them in an airtight, opaque container, in the refrigerator.
  • Flax seed oil actually increases the risk of prostate cancer. This may be due to an excess of ALA in the body. Ground flax seeds do not seem to have this problem.

If you are going to eat flax seeds, the ideal amount is about two tablespoons a day, of ground flax seeds. Although flax oil is very unstable, it seems that the seeds are much less so. Apparently it is ok to eat flax seeds after cooking them. People who find raw flax seeds to be too laxative, have no problem with eating them cooked. So put them in muffins or sprinkle them raw on your cereal or salad.

Also, for you men suffering from low testosterone, check out this video. There are 4 foods (and probably many more) that contribute to low testosterone talked about in the video starting at around 20 mins in. Yes, you guessed it. One of the foods is flaxseed!

Hey Wilma! I linked a previous forum thread which discussed flaxseed at length here. I really appreciate the discussion and please feel free to continue on that thread and let me know if you have any further questions!

In addition, please be sure to send along links rather than copy/pasting portions of articles on future posts. This allows us to read through your post a bit easier and to obtain all of the information from the articles you cite, as well.

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The digestive issues are well known (and I think are a potential issue with anything high in fiber, not just flax seed) and the testosterone issue is discussed at length in the other thread that Charlotte linked above.

As for the cyanide, I hadn’t heard that one before. I strongly suspect that, given the amount of flax seeds being consumed over the past decade or more, and the length of time that it has been immensely popular as a health food, if this were a genuine concern (as opposed to a freak thing that sometimes happens that was identified in one study which may or may not be a particularly robust study) there would be a LOT more sick people and the issue would be widely known by now.

The effect of phytic acid and phytoestrogens was discussed at length in the other thread, but the cyanide issue has not been properly adressed. Saying that there are Huel customers who survived it does not really solve the problem to one’s full satisfaction. And yes, a lot of harmful effects have not been demonstrated with 100% certainty, on the other hand absence of evicende is not evidence of absence. If there are hints about the harmful effects of something one should consider it.

Just see it as some kind of customer feedback. People worry about it and don’t want to have such a high amount of this ingredient in the formula. Maybe you want to reduce the content of it with the next update. There are plenty of alternatives to include enough fibre and healthy fats.

A quick Google search brought up this:

As noted here, flax seeds are by far not the only source of cyanide in our diets.

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I completely understand and should have clarified. Our page on flaxseed is also linked in the previous thread - see the page on flaxseed here, as well. On this page, we discuss cyanide specifically. Let me know if you have any specific questions/concerns after reading and I am happy to discuss and assist.

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We posted at the same time - this article is extremely thorough and better than the one I found.

Out of all those articles, this section says it best:

"It is suggested that you should not eat raw or unripe flaxseed because of the potential of toxins, specifically cyanide. If you have concerns about flaxseeds’ side effects, rest assured the risk is very rare. Although some compounds in flaxseed may release cyanogenic glycosides, researchers reported that your body is able to detoxify cyanide in an amount dependent on the amino acid content in your diet.

The review, published in Trends in Food Science and Technology in July 2014, concluded that toxicity from cyanide in flaxseed is rare except in cases in which it is consumed in large amounts in a low protein diet. The report determined there is generally no harmful effect with prolonged consumption of flaxseed."

Key takeaways:

  • Very rare, low risk
  • Raw / unripe seeds only
  • Large amounts required for risk
  • Low-protein diet required for risk
  • Body can detoxify cyanide based on amino acids in diet
  • Prolonged consumption generally safe
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It seems like everything we eat can be a problem for some people.

Consider the risk of ingredients in Huel compared to the risks of any alternative. If you weren’t eating Huel, what would you be eating?

Do you hold the manufacturer/ producer of that food to the same accountability as you’re demanding of Huel?

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Actually, yes, I do.

I wasn’t aware that I was “demanding” tho.

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Something else healthy I suppose.

For me it would be ramen noodles or pasta…not nutritionally complete and certainly not “better” for me. So the Huel is a definite nutritional upgrade (while keeping the simplicity of preparation and clean up which is what drove me to eating ramen noodles or pasta every day in the first place).

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Check out Vite Ramen… You’ll thank me later.

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