This answer from Karna....."(After eating 1 table spoon of flax seed) First my skin became very soft and smooth but after 2 weeks I got cystic acne on my neck and shoulders" got me thinking about my own experience with flax oil.
i use to take flax oil a long time a go but stopped when hearing/reading all the negative info. after stopping the flax oil my skin got drier, was there a link....no idea.
nothing else i tried seemed to improve my skin quality much (foods or supplements).
Then after reading various positive stories on flaxseed oil over at Seth's Blog i thought, what the hell, i'll give it another go. low & behold my dry skin reduced & my skin got softer/suppler, was there a link....started to think so. note. i have never been one to get acne, & for me taking flax oil never resulted in me getting acne (this was in reference to the Flax seed oil and acne PH question which Karna answered).
Anyway, then i gave up the flax oil again & my skin got drier again (this is where i am at now, ie. i do not currently take flax oil).
I wish i knew why flax oil seemed to improve my skin, then i may be able improve my skin quality without having to return to flax oil (i am not considering doing this atm btw).
In my particular case if it is the flax oil, i do not believe it to be related to epa or dha fatty acids. i have tried fish oil, fish oil pills as well as eating plenty of oily fish without seeing any improvement in my skin.
(I no longer supplement with fish oil or pills, just eat oily fish).
i'm picturing that if there was a scale of skin types (skin structures), my skin structure would be at the other end of the scale to the skin of someone who gets acne from taking flax oil. For them, taking flax oil pushes them in to the acne 'danger' zone.
May be someone out there has a theory (or two) as to why taking flax oil could possibly improve skin quality (in my case). Could there be some other mechanism? other than epa or dha?
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I'd wager it's from the linoleic acid (that gets converted to AA in the body) in the flax oil. Taking fish oil and eating lots of fish will give you AA but also EPA that can interfere with AA metabolism. So, you could try eating some more liver. If you have an extra 15 bucks kickin around I'd recommend Chris Masterjohn's pufa report I'm reading it right now, that's why your question peaked my interest.
Ehh I doubt its the OMEGA-3, that made your skin better, since in flax seed omega 3 are in the parent form of ALA, so for our body to make it into useable omega 3's (DHA/EPA) we have to convert it. I think we do the conversion using delta 6 desaturase and at optimal conversion at best our bodies can convert about 4-6 percent of ala to dha/epa.
I personally don't do flaxseed, don't like the taste and don't like the cyanogenic glycosides, phytic acid, linatin, and trypsin inhibitors.
Are you sure it was during flaxseed? It seems like when people add flaxseed (they do it while simultaneously improving their diet in other significant way)