Jump to content

Flax is bad for you???


GRR
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey gang,

 

I am by no means presenting my self as an expert on the subject, in fact I am presenting the information I received to see if any of you have additional insight or information on it.

 

Someone emailed me an excerpt from a book (I don't know the title or author) that said flaxseed has been used by humans for 4000 years but was never used, or even considered as a food by any civilization. Flax is mentioned 89 times in the Bible however it is never once referred to as a food but a source of fiber for clothing!

 

The concern is that flax contains toxic cianoglicosides, vitamin B6 antagonists and other antinutritional factors including cyanogenic glycosides, trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid, allergens and goitrogens. All flax varieties contain these antinutritional factors.

 

It continues to say that the vitamin B antagonists in flax are a human health risk sighting low levels of vitamin B being linked to heart disease and stroke. Further, flax contains the compound diclycoside ecoisolariciresinol or SDG which through microbial action supresses the effect of estrogen in mammals therefore interferring with pregnancy and reproductive development.

 

Due to the toxicity and health risks, human consumption of flax has been banned in France and is strictly limited in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.

 

According to the excerpt, Chia seed and oil is a much healthier source of Omega -3 fatty acids with lower soduim and none of the toxic factors of flax and has been enjoyed as a food source by humans for hundreds if not thousands of years.

 

I found this excerpt somewhat alarming since flax seems to be in almost everything these days and is a staple for most vegans. If it strips your body of vitamin B and estrogen (more a concern for women) and was never before used or intended as a food, then what are we doing?

 

I was unable to attach the book excerpt but if you email me I can email it back to you. Please share any insights you have on the subject. For all I know this was written by Elvis and disproved 50 years ago, but I thought it was worth sharing.

 

All the best,

GRR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say it was never intended as food. It grows in nature so I'd say its intended for food for some being out there...probably us as well. In terms of it stripping humans of estrogen I doubt it...it doesn't make sense. I understand the idea of pseudo vitamins taking place of the real thing but not in this case. Anyhow its been a staple for vegans for a while and I don't think anyones suffering from low estrogen levels for taking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, GRR,

 

Flax is not ideal for consumption as food, but as a supplement, it has its benefits. The recommendation being limited -- 1 Tablespoon GROUND Flaxseed per day, only*; however, flax oil, is not recommended for anyone. Flax oil is especially problematic and dangerous for men -- it has been linked to prostate cancer.

 

Personally, I take chia seeds. Their nutritional profile is slightly superior to flax, but the main advantage being that the risks associated with flax are non-existent with chias. As well, chias are a food, and can be eaten in quantity without a prescribed, limited amount. Great for weightloss, diabetes, endurance athletes, on, and on, and on. It is a truly great food. The benefits are tremendous.

 

Flax seeds, are fine, 1 Tablespoon per day; Chias, better .

 

If you are interested in the latest, solid, reliable science on nutrition, read up on and keep up with Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He truly takes his oath seriously. He tells it like it is, whether you like it or not. My kinda man .

You can suscribe to his newsletter, or join the website; but Disease Proof Blog has excellent, free information. Do a search for anything, and you can read up on the latest. Dr. Fuhrman will not let you down; this is why he's pretty much the expert, the professional doctor I trust most.

 

So, if you want chias, I suggest the seeds, of course, since all oils are stripped of their nutrition and should only be prescribed as medicine for a particular condition and not used to get one's nutritional needs met for EFA's or anything else.

Let me know if you need a source, I know several

 

*More flax can be consumed, but not much; the one tablespoon per day limit being the safest recommendation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I know of flax seed is that there is tremendous nutritional benefits of freshly ground flax seeds, defense against cancer, heart disease and digestive problems. However the oil in flax goes rancid very fast. Once the shell of the seed is opened heat, light and air all contribute to the fast process of oxidation. The rancid oil is dangerous because it is toxic and cancer-causing. So to me, there is a delicate balance in flax usage. I think the benefits are great enough that I try and use flax as often as possible, I keep the whole seeds refrigerated and fresh and I grind a small amount at a time in a coffee grinder for use in smoothies or sprinkled on food. I think the flax seed breads,cereals,etc which are so popular are a bad idea. I am rather torn about flax oil usage though. I think if it is truly processed through a completely cold-press method and stored in a light-safe bottle and refrigerated and used within 1-3 months of pressing I feel safer with that but still a little leery of the possibility of rancidity. As for the estrogen thing, I haven't actually heard of that, but maybe that would be a good thing for women at high-risk to breast cancer as estrogen exposure is the main risk factor - just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Due to the toxicity and health risks, human consumption of flax has been banned in France and is strictly limited in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.

 

Really? I never noticed that. I'm in Belgium and you find flax seeds in almost any shop, also almost every bakery has a flaxbread(I think they call it omega 3 bread) and other breads that are covered in flax seeds.

Never saw a warning or some kind of limitation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm on my second bowl of hemp/flax cereal as we speak...I'm also busy waiting for the cancer. I may eat another bowl after so I have the caloric intake to fight the cancer the flax gives me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm providing a link that deconstructs the studies on flax and prostate cancer rather nicely. However, it's written by the maker of Udo's oil so he does push the product in the end (an unnecessary product for most vegans as we get more than enough omega 6's, but I covered that rant in another thread).

 

http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/flaxoilcaner.html

 

Keep in mind that studies done on one particular food product will never be accurate. We eat a wide variety of foods and they all interact. Sometimes a particular food might appear to be correlated with a disease but that does NOT equal cause and effect. Additionally, keep in mind that "increased risk of xxxx" might mean very little. If you have a 2% risk of getting a disease and that risk is increased by 25% then you now have a 2.5% chance of getting that disease. It certainly works for the big pharma companies. Selling fear is very easy. Most people don't understand statistics so they are manipulated to make anything appear possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate all of your responses, even the smart ass ones.

 

All of your knowledge and information helps me to be a healthier and more informed and knowledgable vegan, thus helping me pay it forward and empower others to be the same.

 

Thank you all,

GRR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VP,

 

If you are interested in current information on flax then I would do an online search on recently written books (there are some good ones that go into omega 3 fatty acids). When it comes to making any particular food "bad" it always involves poor research and hidden agendas, IMO.

 

No food, even animal products, is bad for you in a moderated consumption range. We just don't know how much is too much (or too little) with many foods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second that. Even things that are great for you like vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene...pretty much anything...can all be extremely toxic if you could actually absorb enough of it. However you really need to consume a lot of these things...to a point that few could take.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I regularly consume the Vega EFA oil blend (which containts flax oil) so I'm really glad that you brought this up, GRR. I've read many things which gave reasons to eat the source of oils rather than the oils themselves, and the possibilities of what you posted being true are a good enough reason for me to give the entire oil topic another look.

 

Thanks! This is the kind of thing that keeps me on my nutritional toes, lol. If everyone was too worried about what they posted being disproved, then we wouldn't end up learning nearly as much as we do here... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vega EFA oil is only necessary if you don't consume an adequate amount of omega 6 fatty acids. I am almost certain you consume more than enough omega 6s. Therefore, you would be better served supplementing with flax seed oil rather than a blend. Just my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vega EFA oil is only necessary if you don't consume an adequate amount of omega 6 fatty acids. I am almost certain you consume more than enough omega 6s. Therefore, you would be better served supplementing with flax seed oil rather than a blend. Just my opinion.

 

Thanks DV, you've got a very solid point there... I think I'll either freshly mill some flaxseed with my morning porridge, or look into the viability of doing the same with chia seed instead, rather than adding the EFA blend to it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

At the risk of seeming a little slow on the uptake, is there any perceived danger with ground up flax seeds or are we talking about just the oil. I grind the seeds up and immediately mix them into my morning smoothie. (Mmm, that sounds good right now. I can't wait 'til tomorrow morning!)

 

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...