There is no evidence to suggest safety concerns for FSO. PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING
• Good quality, cold-pressed FSO is a good source of the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is often deficient in the Western diet.
• The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in FSO, particularly ALA, are precursors of eicosanoids and influence many important physiological processes. Additional actions may be attributed to the variable amount of lignan present in FSO, but which is found in higher concentrations in the actual seed.
• FSO has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, immunological, minor antiplatelet and chemopreventive effects and a range of beneficial actions within the cardiovascular system; however, large RCTs are still required to determine the role of FSO in clinical practice.
• FSO is not an adequate substitute for animal sources of n-3 EFAs. Most studies of oral FSO demonstrate only moderate increases in EPA, while DHA remains unchanged. Strict vegetarians and vegans using FSO as n-3 EFA substitute may be at risk of EPA and DHA deficiency.
• There is some evidence to suggest that daily ingestion of an additional 1-3 g of ALA (equivalent to 5 mL FSO) may reduce the incidence of some cancers and coronary heart disease mortality; however, this remains speculative.
ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will this supplement do for me?
Regular consumption of flaxseed oil, In the presence of balanced llnolelc acid (omega-
6) Intake, may reduce cardiovascular mortality and possibly reduce the risk of some cancers; however, this remains speculative.
When will it start to work?
This will depend on the dosage taken and Indication for use.
Are there any safety issues?
Long-term high doses may compromise immune function in susceptible individuals.
Preliminary evidence suggests a possible link between high ALA intake and increased risk of prostate cancer; however, this is controversial.
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