Health Benefits of Omega 369 from Flaxseed Oil

It is good to see that now a day’s people around the world are readily making changes in order to adapt a healthy lifestyle.

With so many new diseases and illnesses coming up each day it has become mandatory for all of us to make such changes to keep our self fit and healthy.

Illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, blood pressure, etc. have become so common that almost every other individual have become their prey. Hence the essential necessity of being healthy calls for the need of a well balanced diet for every individual and also for a wide range of food supplements in case where maintaining a balanced diet is not possible.


benefits of omega 3


Most health conscious individuals these days might have surely heard about omega-3 fatty acids and their benefits.

It’s become the talk of healthcare or nutraceutical sector because of its numerous health benefits and latest research findings.

Flaxseed Oil is a rich source of omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids which are essential for a healthy living. Broadly it is useful for prevention of coronary heart diseases, skin problems, stress etc.

Flaxseed oil is obtained from a blue flowering plant that is grown on the Western Canadian Prairies for its oil rich seeds. It is highly recommended for the general well being.

Now let us look at benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids in details which is the major ingredient of flaxseed oil and responsible for all the benefits of flaxseed oil.


What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are the essential poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which are crucial for efficient functioning of the body. As they are not synthesized in the human body, omega 3 should be consumed from external source, may be through diet or supplements. Omega -3 fatty acids include

  • ALA (alpha linolenic acid)
  • EPA (Eicosapentanoic acid)
  • DHA (Docosahexanoic acid)


Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Initially, omega-3 fatty acids were extracted from oily fishes like salmon, mackerel, trout and other oily fishes. You might be under suspicion whether to consume them for they may be contaminated by mercury; if that’s the case, then you can opt for fish oil supplements.


flax seed


But what if you’re a strict vegetarian or a vegan?

Don’t worry; you too have good options for omega-3 fatty acids and enjoy the benefits of omega 3 .

Flax seed oil supplements can be used as a substitute to fish oil supplements for omega-3 fatty acids. These days, even because of the fear of mercury contamination in fish, people are actually opting for flax seed oil.

It’s the richest vegetarian source of omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids, though there are some other food sources like walnuts, canola oil, and soybean oil, olive oil, Pumpkin seeds, Hemp seeds, Whole grains etc.,

ALA from Flaxseed oil gets converted into EPA and DHA in the process of metabolism in the liver. One table spoon of flaxseed oil gives you about 700mg of EPA and DHA.


Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids from Flaxseed Oil and Research Findings

#1. Memory. Healthy young adults can improve their working memory by increasing their omega-3 fatty acids intake. (University of Pittsburgh, published in PLOS one).

#2. DHA. Study conducted by Oxford University also revealed that school children consuming more DHA are intelligent.

#3. Dry Eyes. The research team led by Prof John Sheppard from Lee Laboratory for ocular Pharmacology at east Virginia Medical school, USA reported that supplements reduced itching symptoms of dry eyes.

#4. Inflammation. The research conducted by Duke University and published online in annuls of neurology revealed that the compounds derived from omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are 1000 times more potent than those found in the body in reducing the inflammation.Hence omega-3 fatty acids are effective anti-inflammatories. They help in reducing chronic pains like arthritic pains, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pains etc.

#5. Telomers. According to the research conducted by Ohio State University, omega-3 supplements are shown to preserver telomeres (protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighbouring chromosomes) and extend natural lifespan.

#6. Anti-aging. Lead study author, Dr. Jan Kiecolt-Glaser commented “The telomere finding is provocative in that it suggests the possibility that a nutritional supplement might actually make a difference in aging”. Hence one of the health benefit of omega 3 is they have anti-aging effects like it avoids age related macular degeneration (AMD).

#7. Menstrual Pains. “University of Maryland Medical Centre: Omega-3 fatty acids,” published an article stating that omega-3’s are effective in menstrual pains too.

#8. Cholesterol.  Omega-3’s help in cutting down the levels of LDL cholesterol and protects heart from diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attack, etc and also reduces hypertension.

#9. Metabolism. They also increase fat metabolism and effective in imparting weight loss.

#10. Diabetes. It increases immunity and decreases risk of diabetes. (details regarding this are explained below)

#11. Cognitive Function. Especially, DHA is good for neural health i.e. it enhances cognitive skills like learning, problem solving, memory etc.

#12. Cancer. Another benefit of Omega 3 is that it possesses anti-cancerous properties and it helps in preventing breast cancer and colon cancer.

#13. Mood.  It helps in adjusting mood swings.

So in general, omega 3 fatty acids help in maintaining overall health and wellness.


Diets Lacking in Omega 3 Fatty Acids May Stimulate Anxiety and Hyperactivity in Teenagers

A study published in Biological Psychiatry, found omega 3 fatty acids deficiency is linked to anxiety and hyperactivity in adolescents.

Always stress has been bearing the blame for stimulating such psychological imbalances but this research uncovers that nutrition is also a major contributor.

Moreover, the study not only states an interesting point that the compromised mental behavior not only due to the individual’s dietary insufficiency, but also has something to do with the parent’s diet.

Now, this is an alarming finding because adolescence is a sensitive period for developing psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and addiction.

According to the study conducted by University of Pittsburgh, this lack of omega 3 tends to carry to the successive generations showing adverse effects and especially affecting teenagers.

The Pittsburgh team assigned a set of behavioral tasks to study the learning and memory, decision making, anxiety, and hyperactivity of both adults and teenagers.

Although the participants appeared to be in normal healthy physical state, there were behavioral deficiencies in adolescents that were more pronounced in second-generation participants with omega-3 deficiencies.

Overall, these adolescents were more anxious and hyperactive, learned at a slower rate, and had reduced problem-solving abilities.

“Our study shows that, while the omega-3 deficiency influences the behavior of both adults and teenagers, the nature of this influence is different between the age groups,” said Moghaddam. “We observed changes in areas of the brain responsible for decision making and habit formation.”

There are other studies that advocate omega 3 fatty acids association with efficient brain functioning.


Healthy Effects of Flax Seed on Diabetes and Cholesterol

Along with various health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids especially flax seed oil, researches have also revealed that omega-3 fatty acids are linked to the most affected chronic diabetes.

Earlier flax seeds were commonly used to lower the blood sugar level after meals in normal individuals and this lead to the thought and research for the effect of flax seed oil or omega-3 on diabetes.

World Health Organization researchers published an open-label study on the effect of flax seed powder supplementation in the management of diabetes.

18 Diabetic subjects were given a table spoon of ground flax seeds every day for about a month and the results were compared with the placebo group of 11 volunteers where these groups werewithout any supplementation.


Flax seeds


The diet in the experimental group was unaltered. Almost 10gms of flax seed powder was given to the subjects in a span of 1 month.

The researchers observed a significant drop in fasting blood sugars, triglycerides, and cholesterol, as well as the most important thing, a drop in A1C (blood sugar) level.

Supplementation with flax seed reduced fasting blood glucose by 19.7% and glycatedhemoglobin by 15.6%.

These observations suggest the therapeutic potential of flax seed in the management of diabetes mellitus.A favorable reduction in total cholesterol (14.3%), triglycerides (17.5%), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (21.8%), and apolipoprotein B and an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (11.9%) were also noticed.


How Does Flax Help Control Blood Sugar?

Another research found that the antioxidant and anti inflammatory property of Flax seeds may help improve the insulin sensitivity in glucose intolerant people.

After 12 weeks of flaxseed treatment, researchers found a small but, significant drop in insulin resistance, perhaps related to the drop in oxidant stress due to the antioxidant property of flaxseeds.

The omega-3 fatty acids ratio present in flax seed is a beneficial ratio and it not only helps fight your diabetes but also helps in various other ways like addressing the allied adverse events like hypertension, obesity and many more.

Hence, though if some critics don’t believe in the studies, as it is not a chemical drug synthetically made, the plant product is still good for you in quite a number of ways.

Hence try to include at least a half cup of flax seed every day in your diet or try it through quality flax seed oil supplements.


Health Benefits of Omega 3 for Dry Eyes

At some point of time, most of you might have experienced some itchiness or grittiness in the eyes.

In majority of the cases, this may be because of the dryness in the eyes. Ophthalmologists slowly started concentrating on the connection between nutrition and dry eyes.

As a result, recent researches revealed that omega-3 fatty acids may alleviate the symptoms of dryness. Of course, still the researches are going on based on the amount of omega-3 fatty acids to be consumed for this effect.

In spite of all that, the latest research findings are so important that they are hard to ignore, according to Robert L. Latkany, M.D., Dry Eye Clinic, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York.

The randomised double blind clinical trial published in cornea investigated the effects of omega-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids and gamma linoleic acid (primary ingredient in evening Primrose oil) on the signs & symptoms of moderate to severe keratoconjunctivitis (commonly referred to as dry eyes), after omega-3 fatty acids were linked to reduce the inflammation in chronic condition.

The research team led by Prof John Sheppard from Lee Laboratory for ocular Pharmacology at east Virginia Medical school, USA, took 38 post-menopausal woman with dry eye problem as subjects and some of them received GLA, Omega-3 supplements, antioxidants and other nutrients as supplements  and the others were on placebo for 6 months.

From this study, the team reported that supplements reduced irritational symptoms of dry eyes, maintained corneal surface smoothness and inhibited conjunctival cell maturation in woman with dry eyes and who were under supplementation. However, the placebo group’s symptoms still worsened in those 6 months.


Research Finding Related to Cognitive Ability

Another latest finding on omega-3 fatty acid was regarding its ability in enhancing cognitive functioning among school children and even in adults.

An observational study has been conducted by Oxford University and found that omega-3 fatty acids can help boost memory and reading comprehension.

The study involved 493 healthy schoolchildren aged 7 to 9, who under performed when it came to literacy skills but were normal in other activities.


flaxseed for cognitive


Findings showed that 88.2 percent of the children ate fish less than twice a week or did not eat fish at all (9 percent).

They also found that children, who are actually consuming fish rich in DHA i.e. salmon, have good memory power and skills. Actually DHA makes up about 97 percent of the omega-3 fats found in the brain.

Numerous studies have shown that everyone, from infants to adults, benefits from an adequate supply of DHA.

Low concentrations of DHA were found to be associated with poorer reading ability, working memory performance, higher levels of oppositional behavior and emotional liability, which is a condition that can cause fits of crying or other emotion in situations that wouldn’t normally make one cry.

Hence, DHA which is present in almost all the omega-3 supplements and especially in flax seed supplements is highly beneficial to sharpen your cognitive skills. Now, having done with omega 3 fatty acids, let us have a look at other fatty acids found in flax seed oil.


Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Omega-6 fatty acids  are a family of unsaturated fatty acids that have in common a final carbon–carbon double bond in the n−6 position, that is, the sixth bond, counting from the methyl end.

The biological activity of the omega−6 fatty acids are largely mediated by their conversion to omega-6 eicosanoids that bind to diverse receptors found in every tissue of the body.

The tissue arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) convert to omega-6 leukotriene and omega-6prostaglandin hormones, and provides many targets for drug development and treatment to diminish excessive omega-6 actions in asthma, atherosclerosis, arthritis, thrombosis, immune-inflammatory processes, tumor proliferation andvascular disease.


Dietary Sources of Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Dietary sources of omega−6 fatty acids

  1. Poultry
  2. Eggs
  3. Cereals
  4. Durum wheat
  5. Nuts
  6. Most vegetable oils
  7. Avocado
  8. Evening primrose oil
  9. Blackcurrant seed oil
  10. Borage oil
  11. Flax/linseed oil
  12. Rapeseed or canola oil
  13. Hemp oil
  14. Cottonseed oil
  15. Soybean oil
  16. Sunflower seed oil
  17. Corn oil
  18. Safflower oil
  19. Pumpkin seeds
  20. Pecans
  21. Pine nuts
  22. Cashews
  23. Walnuts
  24. Coconut

The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces oil,containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of omega−6 fatty acid.

Four major food oils (rapeseed, palm, sunflower and soybeans) provide omega-6 linoleic acid and omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, about 100 million metric tons annually.


Omega-9 Fatty Acids

Omega-9 fatty acids are a family of unsaturated fatty acids which have in common a final carbon–carbon double bond in the omega−9 position; that is, the ninth bond from the methyl end of the fatty acid.

Some omega−9 fatty acids are common components of animal fat and vegetable oil. Two omega−9 fatty acids important in industry are:

#1. Oleic acid – which is a main component of
  1. Macadamia oil
  2. Olive oil 
  3. Other monounsaturated fats
#2. Erucic acid – which is found in 
  1. Wallflower seed
  2. Mustard seed
  3. Rapeseed
Canola oil comes from a cultivar of the rapeseed plant that has been genetically modified, to contain very little erucic acid.

Unlike omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acid, omega−9 fatty acids are not classed as essential fatty acids (EFA).

This is both because they can be created by the human body from unsaturated fat, and are therefore not essential in the diet, and because the lack of an omega−6 double bond keeps them from participating in the reactions that form the eicosanoids.


What Does Omega-9 Do?

Omega-9 plays a much smaller role than the essential fatty acids; omega-3 and omega-6. Primarily, omega-9 has a positive health affect on the lowering of cholesterol levels and promotes healthy inflammation responses within the body.

Omega-9 also helps with the reduction of the insulin resistance, reduction of arteries, improvement of immune function, and also provides protection against certain types of cancer.

Sources of Omega 9

The best food source for omega-9 is olive oil.

Alternative sources.

  1. Olives
  2. Avocados
  3. Almonds
  4. Peanuts
  5. Sesame oil
  6. Pecans
  7. Pistachio nuts
  8. Cashews
  9. Hazelnuts
  10. Macadamia nuts


Health Benefits of Omega-9

Because of the various benefits of the entire omega fatty acid group provides to our bodies, every healthy adult should consume omega-9.

The omega fatty acid group can help to prevent many common illnesses and health problems.

These include conditions, like ADHD, diabetes, eye disease, anorexia, osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, acne, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, alcoholism, allergies, cancer, weight loss, arthritis, high blood pressure, ulcers, tuberculosis and heart disease.

So, with this we come to an end of the numerous health benefits of flaxseed oil. You may either have omega fatty acids through your diet or pop in flax seed supplements for a better health.

Choice is yours!

For any queries or suggestions please write in the comments section below.

Also do share this valuable information with your family and friends, especially with those who are suffering from dry eyes and cognitive problems, heart diseases, diabetes, or old age so that they get it corrected.



#1. Allman MA, Pena NM, Pang D. “Supplementation with flaxseed oil versus sunflower oil in healthy young men consuming a low fat diet: Effects on platelet composition and function. Europe Journal Clinical Nutrition (49: 69-178). Nature Publishing Group: England; 1995.

#2. Harper Charles R., Edwards Megan J., DeFilipis Andrew P., Jacobson Terry A. “Flaxseed Oil Increases the Plasma Concentrations of cardio protective (n-3) Fatty Acids in Humans.” The Journal of Nutrition (136: 83-87). American Journal for Nutrition: Maryland; January 2006.

#3. Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Vidgen E, et al. “Health aspects of partially defatted flaxseed, including effects on serum lipids, oxidative measures, and ex vivo androgen and progestin activity: A controlled crossover trial.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (69: 395-402). The American Society for Nutrition: Maryland; 1999.

#4.  Scientific opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to a combination of flaxseed oil and vitamin E and maintenance of the skin permeability barrier function pursuant to Article 13 (5) of regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). (10: 2819)European Food Safety Authority: Italy; 2012.

#5. Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: Health benefits throughout life. Advances in Nutrition (3: 1-7) American Society for Nutrition: 2012.