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What are the side effects of flaxseed?


There are very few side effects linked to flaxseed. Historically used as a source of fiber, flaxseed is available in powder, oil and capsule form. Flaxseed oil (also called linseed oil) comes from the seeds of the flax plant. Flaxseed oil contains essential fatty acids (EFAs), which may offer some benefit in lowering cholesterol, decreasing platelet aggregation, insulin resistance, reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Limited studies in humans have suggested that flaxseed may reduce the risk of certain types of cancers including breast cancer.

Flaxseed supplements taken in recommended amounts with plenty of liquid are unlikely to cause side effects. Large doses of whole flaxseed or flaxseed powder can cause diarrhea. It is very important to take a flaxseed preparation designed for human use. Flaxseed products meant for animals can cause severe allergic reactions to people.

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