Emblem for Skin Support Module - Flax Seed Oil Supplementation for Skin Health

Executive Summary

Flax seed oil is the best plant source of omega 3 fatty acids. Regular consumption can stabilize systemic inflammation and improve lipid metabolism; leading to reduced skin sensitivity and improved sebum composition.

Introduction

Flaxseed (linseed) oil is the richest known source of an omega 3 fatty acid by the name of ALA. In fact, the % of ALA found in flax seed is almost in a class of it’s own, containing more than 5 times the ALA of the next highest sources (walnut and canola oil) [1].

Unfortunately, ALA does not appear to be as efficacious as DHA and EPA (omega 3 fatty acids from fish) on decreasing inflammation. This is likely due to the fact that it first needs to be converted by the body (to DHA and EPA) and this process is known to be fairly inefficient.

Nonetheless, diets high in ALA have been shown to demonstrate similar benefits to those obtained from diets rich in DHA and EPA.

Regular Fish = No Flax Needed
Fish provides a substantially more biologically active form of omega 3 fatty acids. If you regularly consume fresh fatty fish, the benefits gained from supplementing with flax seed aren’t as important.

Documented Benefits of Flax Seed Oil

Regular consumption of fresh flax seed oil can:

  • Improve skin barrier function and stability [2]
  • Reduce systemic inflammation [3]
  • Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease [4, 5]
  • Regulate cholesterol levels [6]
  • Improve lipid metabolism [7, 8]

Why It’s Important for Inflammatory Skin Disease

Characteristics most important for individuals affected by inflammatory skin disorders:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved lipid metabolism

Expected improvements:

  • Reduced skin sensitivity
  • Improved sebum composition

Ideas for Integration

Flax seed oil is best consumed in the absence of other fat sources rich in omega 6 fatty acids. Replacing an existing vegetable oil in a cold served dish such a salad is an easy way to integrate flax seed oil into your diet.

Additional Notes:

  • Many of the antioxidants found in flax seed oil are easily oxidized, making sure you buy cold pressed oil with a recent production date can help some of these antioxidants are still present
  • If the flax seed oil is overly pungent in taste, it’s likely bad (overly oxidized and has gone rancid)
  • As with anything else, some individuals may not tolerate flax seed oil and allergy has been reported [9]

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