Updated: Dec 30, 2020
First of all, let me welcome all my new followers since my last post. I appreciate your interest and please spread the word if you like what you read. Also, appreciate any and all feedback. Just send it to Justbob3@verizon.net. Secondly, I am available on a case by case basis for individual coaching and/or virtual workshops/lectures as my time allows for a very modest fee. Use the above Email to contact me. And third, don't forget to check out my book on Amazon. Just type in my name, Bob Arbetter, in the search bar and it should pop right up. I would be surprised if there was a better book on overall health and nutrition available today. The second edition is out and I am slaving away on the third edition now. And fourth, the only income I get for my health information is from you, no companies, so you can be sure that any product/information I recommend comes strictly from my research.
OK, now for flax. In terms of overall benefit to the body, I cannot think of a better food to talk about, except maybe Moringa. But they work in different ways and certainly make a wonderful combination in your smoothie.
There are countless studies on the power and benefit of flax; whole flax seed, ground flax seed and flax oil. I will list many of these studies below with a short summary of each, but beyond the benefits, the thing to remember is care of your seeds. If they are whole, they are fine at room temperature. However, the oil in flax degrades within 15 min if exposed to heat/air/or light. So you need to grind your own flax at home when you use it (and I recommend just using ground flax, not the whole seed, to get the most bang for the buck, (although there are benefits from the whole seed as well, depending on your objectives). I grind enough to last one week and then put it in a jar in the freezer. For my flax oil, I only buy it from a store that has it in a refrigerated section. And I get the filtered kind, to keep it as fresh as possible as long as possible. And I store the oil bottle in my fridge at all times when not in use. Now when you eat the ground flax seed, you are of course getting some oil with the seed, but not enough to really make a difference, so it is good to combine ground flax seed with added flax oil to get the best of both.
In terms of dosing, I do one tablespoon of flax seed (if I had cancer, I would do more), once a day, 7 days week. That is the one constant in my diet. Why, because I vary everything else. Some days, like my fasting days, or the weekends, I get very little fiber in my diet, which slows by bowel movements so by adding flax to my water glass (or broccoli sprout shooters :)), I maintain regular movements. There are many great secrets to maintaining regular movements and they are critical to your health, and high fiber diets are one main component. In fact, our ancestors got around 100 grams of fiber a day, and we, by comparison, on average get less than 20, if that! Flax absorbs a lot of water. So it is best to let it set in your smoothie or water glass a few minutes before drinking, that way it is hydrating your gut rather that taking water away from your gut. While we are on that topic, there is more to the health of bowel movements than regularity. There is also transit time, or how long it takes to get from your mouth to your anus. You should be looking at around 30 hours or less. Just because you may be pooping once a day does not mean you have good transit time. It could be taking three days to get through your system and you still may be pooping once a day. One way to check this is through beets. Just keep track of when you ingest raw beet powder or a lot of beets and watch for red poop. It is that simple. And beets are fabulous for you as they raise your nitric oxide levels and relax your arteries, thus improving cardiovascular health.
Anyways, I diverge. For flax oil, I take about one tablespoon 4 times a week (once again, if I had cancer, I would do more). I don't measure it anymore, just a quick squeeze from my flax bottle into my smoothie does it. This blog is not going into detail about the benefits of flax oil and flax seed for cancer. But if you are interested, check out the Budwig protocol for cancer.
BENEFITS...Ready to have your mind blown?
It would take a book to list all the studies on and benefits of flax and to explain them all, because many of the study results are very technical. So before I start listing what I think are the key studies, in general, flax is high fiber, and the benefits of fiber in your diet go way beyond regular elimination. It also has to do with feeding your good bacteria. You can't be healthy without your good bacteria. And flax is a great cancer fighter. And flax can help normalize blood pressure. And flax is a great source of plant-based omega-3 (good fats), an inflammation lowering fat. And flax is great for the prostate. And flax can help normalize blood lipids like cholesterol, HDL and LDL. So flax is great for the cardiovascular system. And flax helps eliminate toxins from the body. And flax is great for Type 2 Diabetes.
How can one food (a seed) do so much for us? Well we know a lot but are still learning. And other seeds, like pumpkin seed, chia seed, celery seed, hemp seed and broccoli seed are also highly beneficial in different areas. It kind of makes me think that our human diet should consist of lots of seeds for our best health. Do you see that in any medical or certified nutrition publications or hear it from professionals? Nope.
Here are the studies (with my comments in parenthesis):
- "According to this meta-analysis, flaxseed significantly reduced circulating concentrations of hs-CRP and TNFα " (another words it is anti-inflammatory) (Adv Nutr. 2019 May 22. Epub 2019 May 22. PMID: 31115436)
- "This meta-analysis suggested that flaxseed supplementation improves serum TC, TG, and LDL-C, which could delay the progression of heart disease." (normalizes cholesterol)(Pharmacol Res. 2019 Dec 30 ;152:104622. Epub 2019 Dec 30. PMID: 31899314 )
- "This meta-analysis of RCTs showed significant reductions in both SBP and DBP following supplementation with various flaxseed products. "(lowers blood pressure)(Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun ;35(3):615-25. Epub 2015 May 29. PMID: 26071633)
- "Whole flaxseed is a good choice for weight management particularly for weight reduction in overweight and obese participants." (Obes Rev. 2017 Jun 21. Epub 2017 Jun 21. PMID: 28635182)
- "Current evidence suggests that flax may be associated with decreased risk of breast cancer. Flax demonstrates antiproliferative effects in breast tissue of women at risk of breast cancer and may protect against primary breast cancer. Mortality risk may also be reduced among those living with breast cancer." (Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Sep 8. Epub 2013 Sep 8. PMID: 24013641)
- "Results of this study indicated that dietary milled sesame/pumpkin/flax seed mixture added to a habitual diet lowered triglyceride and CRP, TNF-alpha, IL-6 levels, affect glycemic control and improved fatty acid profile and pruritus symptoms in hemodialysis patients."(improved blood lipids, lowered inflammation, improved blood glucose levels, increased omega 3s)(ScientificWorldJournal. 2014 ;2014:563576. Epub 2014 Jan 22. PMID: 24578648)
- "Daily lignan (flax contains lignans) supplementation resulted in modest, yet statistically significant improvements in glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients without apparently affecting fasting glucose, lipid profiles and insulin sensitivity."(PLoS One. 2007 Nov 7;2(11):e1148. PMID: 17987126)
- "This clinical study demonstrated that a 12 week treatment with a mix of Cucurbita Pepo Seed extract, Equisetum arvense and Linum usitatissimum - Flax A (pumpkin seed, horsetail and flax) is highly effective on stress urinary incontinence (SUI) with minimum adverse events." (J Tradit Complement Med. 2019 Apr ;9(2):138-142. Epub 2018 May 3. PMID: 30963048)
- "Our results showed that the addition of flaxseed to yogurt can be effective in the management of type 2 diabetes."(Clin Nutr Res. 2019 Oct ;8(4):284-295. Epub 2019 Oct 2. PMID: 31720254)
- "Although both flaxseed and psyllium may decrease constipation symptoms, weight, glycemic and lipid levels, treatment with flaxseed appear to be superior to psyllium."(Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2019 Feb ;29:41-48. Epub 2018 Nov 17. PMID: 30661699)
- " We observed a hypotensive effect of ALA, which may constitute another mechanism accounting in part for the apparent cardioprotective effect of this n-3 fatty acid. (Flax oil lowers blood pressure due to Omega 3s)"Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;61(10):1201-6. Epub 2007 Jan 31. PMID: 17268413
- "Surface evaluation of living skin revealed that roughness and scaling of the skin were significantly decreased with flaxseed and borage oil comparing week 0 and week 12 (P<0.05). Except for hydration, none of the parameters was affected in the placebo group. The present data provide evidence that skin properties can be modulated by an intervention with dietary lipids."(Br J Nutr. 2009 Feb;101(3):440-5. Epub 2008 Sep 2. PMID: 18761778)
- " Males taking the flaxseed lignan complex reduced metabolic syndrome score relative to men taking placebo, but a similar trend was not seen in females, (improved blood pressure, blood glucose, obesity)"Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Apr;34(2):89-98. PMID: 19370038
- "Both the flaxseed extract(P=.007) and the flaxseed meal (P=.005) were effective in reducing the menopausal symptoms when compared with the placebo control (P=.082).)"J Med Food. 2012 Sep ;15(9):840-5. PMID: 22925074
- "It seems that linseed oil (flax oil) could be effective in the management of mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, especially in improving the severity of symptoms and functional status. In addition, its effect on electerodiagnostic parameters, especially on the nerve conduction velocity, can be considered as a valuable point." (Daru. 2014 ;22:43. Epub 2014 May 21. PMID: 24887185)
- "Avoid Drugs & Surgery for Prostate Issues with Flaxseed," Article by Sayer Ji, Dec 14th, 2017, Green Med Info
Ok, you get the idea! There seems to be no end to benefits of flax seed and flax oil. I could have posted tons more studies. So, Please make them a steady part of your daily routine.
Yours in health, Dr Bob