From a healthier heart to a more regular digestive system, flax oil has a number of benefits that may make you want to add it to your supplements list. Flax oil also makes the grade by serving as a healthy fat source. Check with your doc before taking flax oil, however, because it can interfere with some medications, especially blood thinners.
About Flax Oil
Flax oil comes from flaxseeds, the small, brown seeds of the Linum usitatissimum plant. Flax oil is a fiber-free alternative to eating flaxseeds and contains key nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are a healthy fat source that may help reduce your risk for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Flax oil also has vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Boosts Heart Health
Flax oil can help reduce low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol is associated with a greater risk for heart disease. An omega-3 fatty acid in flax oil called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, has been shown to reduce heart attack risk, promote healthy blood vessels and reduce blood clotting that leads to heart attack and stroke, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Reduces Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can make each blink feel painful and affect your overall eye health. But taking flaxseed oil along with using lubricating eye drops can help you combat dry eyes, according to optometrist Dr. Gary Heiting. Some vitamins designed specifically for eyes contain flaxseed oil, but you also can take the supplement in liquid form.
Maintains Healthy Weight
The fatty acids in flax oil can help boost your body's metabolic rate, or the rate at which it burns calories. By burning off more calories, you also burn off more fat. Fatty acids such as those in flax oil stimulate brown fat -- a type of metabolically active fat in your body that helps burn calories -- which can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.