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    Flaxseed Oil Side Effects

    I curious to know if any of you have ever gotten headaches from taking flaxseed oil. My girlfriend started taking it (at my urging) to help lower her cholesterol. She started getting headaches at about 3-4 weeks out so she stopped taking it. I figured rather than waste all those capsules, I'd start taking it. Long story short, the same thing happened to me and I never get headaches.
    This morning I woke up with what felt like a severe hangover. I decieded that was the end of the flaxseed oil.
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    Post

    Originally Posted by StartinOver-68 View Post
    I curious to know if any of you have ever gotten headaches from taking flaxseed oil. My girlfriend started taking it (at my urging) to help lower her cholesterol. She started getting headaches at about 3-4 weeks out so she stopped taking it. I figured rather than waste all those capsules, I'd start taking it. Long story short, the same thing happened to me and I never get headaches.
    This morning I woke up with what felt like a severe hangover. I decieded that was the end of the flaxseed oil.
    Just switch to fish oil. It's all good as long as you're not burping.

    I used ground seed when I used to take flax. I found that it mixed in my shakes better than the oil did. Plus you get the added fiber that way.
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    SO68, I used flaxseed for 4 years or so, and never had any problems like you describe. After much reading about flax vs. fish, I switched to fish oil last year. My concern, was unproven, yet existing studies that suggested flaxseed oil could cause complications with prostate. There also seems to be a possible "edge" with fish oil vs. flax for overall benefit.

    Anyway, here's an article I just found for you. It discusses a few things that may be of interest to you.

    Edit: Just realized I didn't include the link: http://www.enotalone.com/article/9290.html
    Last edited by dbx; 04-20-2007 at 08:32 AM.
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    Ideally, you want both flax and fish in your diet as they each contain different Omega 3's. You get more benefits from flax seed (be sure to grind it or it will just pass through intact and unabsorbed) than from the oil. The ground seed can be sprinkled on oatmeal and adds a sort of nutty flavor.
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    Originally Posted by stahlhart View Post
    Just switch to fish oil. It's all good as long as you're not burping.
    Bought some no "fish burp" fish oil capsules at CVS. Lived up to it's claim.
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    Thanks for the reply's but I think your all missing my point. I don't believe it is one type of oil or another, but the effects of the oil on the blood stream causing the headaches.
    At any rate, I never got headaches before so I'm backing off the stuff just to see what gives.
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    Might it be something in the capsule holding the oil that's caused the headaches? Or maybe it was a bad batch of oil?? Never heard of flaxseed oil causing headaches, but if both you and your GF suffered....
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    It could very well be an allergic reaction; migraines/headaches can definitely be caused by food allergies (my wife cannot eat chocolate, for instance, or she gets mad migraines).

    If the headaches started in conjunction with the flax use, I would stop the flax use and see if the headaches stop.

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    Originally Posted by ChocolateGirl View Post
    Ideally, you want both flax and fish in your diet as they each contain different Omega 3's. You get more benefits from flax seed (be sure to grind it or it will just pass through intact and unabsorbed) than from the oil. The ground seed can be sprinkled on oatmeal and adds a sort of nutty flavor.
    Thanks for the info chocogirl, I have wasted about a pound of flaxseeds!
    I really didn't know to grind them first. Oh well good fiber I quess.
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    I don't think your symtoms where necessarily coincidence. Flax oil contains alpha-linolenic acid (ala). This fatty acid has a thinning effect on the blood. As such, it could very well be causing headaches for you and your friend. Switching to fish oil may, in fact, make the situation worse. Fish oil contains both DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are more absorbable (bioavailable) than ALA and hence are deemed more effective than flax oil, yet also may be more "potent" in its effect on you.
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    Originally Posted by Obadiah! View Post
    I don't think your symtoms where necessarily coincidence. Flax oil contains alpha-linolenic acid (ala). This fatty acid has a thinning effect on the blood. As such, it could very well be causing headaches for you and your friend. Switching to fish oil may, in fact, make the situation worse. Fish oil contains both DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are more absorbable (bioavailable) than ALA and hence are deemed more effective than flax oil, yet also may be more "potent" in its effect on you.
    My sentiments exactly....... I got along for 69 years headache free (except for hangovers without these supps.
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    I have tried several time to incorporate flax seed oil in my diet. I have tried the oil and ground flaxseed. I just don't feel good after ingesting it, and it seems like my chest gets tight for awhile too. I came to the conclusion that I probably am allergic to flax and should stay away from it. Fish oil doesn't bother me at all.
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    Originally Posted by GROWLER View Post
    Old cars to better on 10-40 oil. New sports cars can do just fine on 0-20.
    Good point........ Lots of mileage here.
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    Not to beat a dead horse with re-opening this thread, but I have not had a headache since I stopped taking those supps. Call it coincidence or whatever, but I like the results.
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    SO68, I used flaxseed for 4 years or so, and never had any problems like you describe. After much reading about flax vs. fish, I switched to fish oil last year. My concern, was unproven, yet existing studies that suggested flaxseed oil could cause complications with prostate. There also seems to be a possible "edge" with fish oil vs. flax for overall benefit.

    Anyway, here's an article I just found for you. It discusses a few things that may be of interest to you.

    Edit: Just realized I didn't include the link: http://www.enotalone.com/article/9290.html
    Hey DBX - thanks for the heads up on the flax and prostate
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    Originally Posted by StartinOver-68 View Post
    Not to beat a dead horse with re-opening this thread, but I have not had a headache since I stopped taking those supps. Call it coincidence or whatever, but I like the results.
    Good to hear. But don't neglect omega 3's. You may want to try a food source like salmon, shrimp, halibut, walnuts, cabbage, cauliflower. We really need these for good health. Example, a 4oz piece of organic salmon has 90%
    of the DV.
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    Originally Posted by garlichead View Post
    Good to hear. But don't neglect omega 3's. You may want to try a food source like salmon, shrimp, halibut, walnuts, cabbage, cauliflower. We really need these for good health. Example, a 4oz piece of organic salmon has 90%
    of the DV.
    I practically live on those foods you mentioned. I don't really think I lack anything (except massive amounts of protein) therefore my only supps consist of On Whey.
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    Originally Posted by StartinOver-68 View Post
    I practically live on those foods you mentioned. I don't really think I lack anything (except massive amounts of protein) therefore my only supps consist of On Whey.
    If that's the case, then you don't need flax oil. As far a protein goes have you ever given buffalo, ostrich, emu a thought? These are generally grass fed, super lean and packed full of protein on a per ounces basis. The bonus is with grass fed your getting the good poly 6's instead of the corn, grain fed animals (no politics) Give it a try.
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    Originally Posted by garlichead View Post
    If that's the case, then you don't need flax oil. As far a protein goes have you ever given buffalo, ostrich, emu a thought? These are generally grass fed, super lean and packed full of protein on a per ounces basis. The bonus is with grass fed your getting the good poly 6's instead of the corn, grain fed animals (no politics) Give it a try.
    Thanks for the advice, but that to me is splitting hairs, I'm not into the fine points of nutrition. No offense meant to those who are of course.
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    hmmmm , ive been getting headaches also , and as i look at my supp. log i see they started about the time i started on flax oil . mebbe ill get some Fish oil , see if it helps . i get my headache about 1 hour after workout , as regular as clockwork .

    thx for the post , never would have even guessed that Flax MIGHT contribute to headaches .
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    I only used flaxseed oil once for a very limited time. I stick with extra virgin olive oil now and also make sure to eat salmon a couple of times a week. Almonds are also a daily fat source for me.

    Here's what the Mayo Clinic says about possible side effects from flaxseed and flaxseed oil:

    Side Effects and Warnings

    There are few studies of flaxseed safety in humans. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil supplements do appear to be well tolerated in the available research, and there is long-standing historical use of flaxseed products without many reports of side effects. However, unripe flaxseed pods are believed to be poisonous and should not be eaten. Raw flaxseed or flaxseed plant may increase blood levels of cyanide, a toxic chemical (this effect has not been reported when flaxseed supplements are taken at recommended doses). Do not apply flaxseed or flaxseed oil to open wounds or broken skin.

    Based on animal studies, overdose of flaxseed may cause shortness of breath, rapid breathing, weakness, or difficulty walking, and may cause seizures or paralysis. Theoretically, flaxseed ( not flaxseed oil) may increase the risk of cell damage from a reaction called oxidative stress. Studies report conflicting results in this area. Based on one study, flaxseed or flaxseed oil taken by mouth may cause mania or hypomania in people with bipolar disorder. In theory, the laxative effects of flaxseed ( not flaxseed oil) may cause diarrhea, increased number of bowel movements, and abdominal discomfort. Laxative effects are reported in several studies of people taking flaxseed or omega-3 acids. Large amounts of flaxseed by mouth may cause the intestines to stop moving (ileus). People with diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis) should avoid flaxseed due to its possible laxative effects. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are reported in two individuals shortly after taking flaxseed products by mouth; these reactions may have been caused by allergy.

    Taking a large amount of flaxseed ( not flaxseed oil) by mouth may cause obstruction of the intestines, especially when flaxseed is taken with too little fluid. It is recommended that the amount of seed be taken with ten times that amount of water or other liquid. People with narrowing of the esophagus or intestine, ileus, or bowel obstruction should avoid flaxseed ( not flaxseed oil). Individuals with high blood triglycerides should avoid flaxseed and flaxseed oil due to unclear effects on triglyceride levels in animal research. People with diabetes should use caution if taking flaxseed products by mouth, as the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed and flaxseed oil may increase blood sugar levels. This increase is reported in one study of adults with type 2 diabetes who were treated with omega-3 fatty acids for one month, but the effect is not reported in another study of people taking flaxseed (50 grams) by mouth.

    One study reports that the menstrual period may be altered in women who take 10 grams of flaxseed powder by mouth daily. Due to the possible estrogen-like effects of flaxseed ( not flaxseed oil), it should be used cautiously in women with hormone sensitive conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, or cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovary. Some natural medicine textbooks advise caution in patients with hypothyroidism, although little scientific information is available in this area. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil may increase the risk of bleeding, based on early studies that show decreased clotting of blood. In human studies, people taking alpha-linolenic acid, a substance present in flaxseed, have bled longer in laboratory tests, but dangerous bleeding problems have not been reported in the available scientific literature. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders, in people taking drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, and in people planning to undergo medical, surgical, or dental procedures. Dosing of blood-thinning medications may need to be adjusted. In animal studies, flaxseed has increased the number of red blood cells.

    Several studies in humans report an increased risk of prostate cancer in men taking alpha-linolenic acid (which is present in flaxseed) by mouth. One small study of men with prostate cancer reports that flaxseed supplements do not increase prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. Until more information is available, men with prostate cancer or at risk for prostate cancer should avoided flaxseed and alpha-linolenic acid supplements.

    Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

    The use of flaxseed or flaxseed oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended. Animal studies show possible harmful effects, and there is little information in humans. Flaxseed may stimulate menstruation or have other hormonal effects and could be harmful to pregnancy.


    http://mayoclinic.com/health/flaxsee...tient-flaxseed
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    Flax oil and Olive oils...................both good for you IMO.
    Let's not forget fish oils......eat that salmon up baby ! Yum Yum
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    I'll pass......... Thanks Hibby.
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    Question clueless

    I used to eat lunch at a local health food store that had a great homemade salad dressing that had flax seed oil as a base. It was great and only the owner had the receipe and they would run out some times as he was semi retired. I thought this stuff was addictive but never thought it could of been harmfull? LOL
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    Originally Posted by StartinOver-68 View Post
    I curious to know if any of you have ever gotten headaches from taking flaxseed oil. My girlfriend started taking it (at my urging) to help lower her cholesterol. She started getting headaches at about 3-4 weeks out so she stopped taking it. I figured rather than waste all those capsules, I'd start taking it. Long story short, the same thing happened to me and I never get headaches.
    This morning I woke up with what felt like a severe hangover. I decieded that was the end of the flaxseed oil.
    I had the same problem for the first 12 weeks when I started exercising, I was advised by my doctor to switch to Linseed and presto, not a single headache.
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    Originally Posted by irongrl View Post
    I have tried several time to incorporate flax seed oil in my diet. I have tried the oil and ground flaxseed. I just don't feel good after ingesting it, and it seems like my chest gets tight for awhile too. I came to the conclusion that I probably am allergic to flax and should stay away from it. Fish oil doesn't bother me at all.
    Chest gets tight? In what way? Can't catch your breath?

    >>>--->
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    Originally Posted by Hibiscus09 View Post
    I only used flaxseed oil once for a very limited time. I stick with extra virgin olive oil now and also make sure to eat salmon a couple of times a week. Almonds are also a daily fat source for me.

    Here's what the Mayo Clinic says about possible side effects from flaxseed and flaxseed oil:

    [/b]

    http://mayoclinic.com/health/flaxsee...tient-flaxseed
    Thanks for this link. I had read similar info a good while back, but had started using flax, and flax oil again recently,...I see a couple three things in the article that I have issue with when using flax products,..Very interesting!!

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    Post

    Originally Posted by GRCRYSTYK View Post
    Chest gets tight? In what way? Can't catch your breath?

    >>>--->
    yes, it's similar to the feeling I get if exposed to a lot of pollen or smoke. It's like I have trouble taking a deep breath for a while.
    We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by Hibiscus09 View Post
    I only used flaxseed oil once for a very limited time. I stick with extra virgin olive oil now and also make sure to eat salmon a couple of times a week. Almonds are also a daily fat source for me.

    Here's what the Mayo Clinic says about possible side effects from flaxseed and flaxseed oil:

    [/b]

    http://mayoclinic.com/health/flaxsee...tient-flaxseed
    Thanks for the article! That is good information. I think I will follow your lead and stick with salmon and olive oil. I like almonds too
    We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.
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