3

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Daily Intake of Flax Seed Meal?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 01, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I've been eating a sort of flax seed meal "porridge" frequently for breakfast (4-5 times a week). While I used to make bread out of solely flax seed meal, I cut back because of the warning about eating too much. I usually have 2 servings (1/4 cup) for the mix, though yesterday I had 1/2 cup worth. I haven't been doing this long term, just the past week since I was craving something smooth.

I'm curious if this amount daily has any negative impact - I admit I haven't researched too much about flax seed besides Googling and checking the about.com page on flax seed meal which mentions negative aspects like:

  • too much fiber load
  • oxidation/rancidity
  • phytochemicals/lignans/hormonal effects
  • cyanide (alarmism?)
  • I was surprised there weren't more questions (or at least tagged ones) on here about flax seed meal since it's one of the "accepted" (though I guess that could be debated) seeds. It's not mentioned on the Paleo food list, only flax seed oil.

    For reference, I'm an early-20s female in regards to the hormone thing. I haven't had any digestive issues when consuming flax.

    77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    (78467)

    on April 09, 2012
    at 02:49 PM

    1 tablespoon is a fairly high dose though isn't it?

    6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

    (5914)

    on November 26, 2011
    at 11:07 PM

    Jason, i'm interested in this. Can you provide some evidence of the low conversion rate. Cheers

    35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

    (295)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 11:15 PM

    On Cordain's site I did find a question in the FAQ about flaxseed meal, this is closing paragraph: "The bottom line from an evolutionary perspective is that flax seeds and/or flaxseed oil would not have been consumed by pre-agricultural humans. However, having said that, hunter gatherers always would have preferentially sought high oil plant foods as per optimal foraging theory. But, most high fat plant foods contain high MUFA (with the exception of coconut and palm oils)." This page seems to recommend chia/flax seeds though: http://www.thepaleodiet.com/nutritional_tools/fatsseeds.shtml

    667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

    (15976)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 10:32 PM

    without too much googling i would just imagine that flax seeds are n6-heavy, like most nuts and seeds. I believe Chia is heavy in n6, too by the way. Maybe Cordain did a bit on this in his email newsletter not too long ago.

    A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

    (13978)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:54 PM

    Ohhh! I'm so happy that you stopped taking BC pills. How long it takes your cycle to even out will depend on how long you were taking it.

    35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

    (295)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:33 PM

    I do take the NatureMade "Double Strength" fish oil capsules currently, though I'd like to switch over to Carlson's liquid. Coincidentally, my menstrual cycle (which is supposed to be this week) hasn't started yet...could be from stopping hormonal BC pills 3 weeks ago though.

    35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

    (295)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:30 PM

    I'm not eating it for Omega 3s (though I do already eat omega 3 eggs). I am curious though if I should limit my intake because of the other reasons as well.

    35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

    (295)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:29 PM

    Just to note, I'm not eating the flax for Omega-3 supplementation (I already take fish oil and eat fish as well) but for the taste and as a substitute for oatmeal.

    • 35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

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    7 Answers

    6
    525ceb06bc8862932d853a033411e3b7

    (350)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 04:53 PM

    Flax seeds were overhyped a few years ago based on an errant calculation over their Omega 3 conversion rate. Now that we know that their conversion rate is quite low it's best to move on to fish oil or other Omega 3 sources. Unfortunately, the health food industry either didn't get the memo or ramped up their products so much that they can't stop promoting flax seeds!

    35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

    (295)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:29 PM

    Just to note, I'm not eating the flax for Omega-3 supplementation (I already take fish oil and eat fish as well) but for the taste and as a substitute for oatmeal.

    6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

    (5914)

    on November 26, 2011
    at 11:07 PM

    Jason, i'm interested in this. Can you provide some evidence of the low conversion rate. Cheers

    2
    4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

    on March 21, 2011
    at 01:54 AM

    Phytoestrogen content (??g/100g) Flax seed
    379380

    Thats almost 4x that of Soy.

    The poor conversion of ALA to Long Chain EPA/DHA was a good enough reason. Phytoestrogen content of that magnitude is scary on a whole nother level.

    2
    A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

    (13978)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 06:40 PM

    Flax meal may have ALA but it's the wrong type. It also has phytoestrogen and after consuming an estrogen-dominant diet we need to avoid consuming extra substances that have an estrogenic effect on the body! Especially now while you're young!

    I took high doses of flax meal last summer and threw off my menstrual cycle for a few weeks. Bad.

    Find a good fish oil, cod liver oil or krill oil source instead.

    (source)

    35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

    (295)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:33 PM

    I do take the NatureMade "Double Strength" fish oil capsules currently, though I'd like to switch over to Carlson's liquid. Coincidentally, my menstrual cycle (which is supposed to be this week) hasn't started yet...could be from stopping hormonal BC pills 3 weeks ago though.

    A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

    (13978)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:54 PM

    Ohhh! I'm so happy that you stopped taking BC pills. How long it takes your cycle to even out will depend on how long you were taking it.

    1
    25ed4acfb632d928507f8673bcb0923a

    (650)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 05:43 PM

    Personally I would be wary of taking a lot of flax long-term if I were you. There is a less well-known negative side effect of flax seed OIL supplementation.

    I found out about it after my experiences with taking about 1 tablespoon of flax seed oil per day for a couple of weeks. I started to get hypo-manic: my thoughts were racing, felt I could do anything, didn't sleep much, but I would also have paranoid thoughts and odd compulsions to check my stove all the time. Keep in mind that I've never experienced any of these things before! I was alarmed enough to stop taking flax seed and bam! all these strange effects went away.

    When I mentioned this to a friend of mine who is a clinical psychologist he directed me to a couple of research articles showing that, indeed, certain individuals responded similarly to flax seed oil supplementation.

    77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    (78467)

    on April 09, 2012
    at 02:49 PM

    1 tablespoon is a fairly high dose though isn't it?

    1
    B294438548c32ed878905baf6cd1b332

    on September 01, 2010
    at 04:16 PM

    Hi, Marisa. I suspect most people on a Paleo diet use Fish Oil supplementation, fish, and to some extent, grass-fed beef to keep their Omega 3 : Omega 6 ratios as close to 1 : 1 as possible.

    Personally, I'd rather eat Omega 3 eggs than flax seeds, because I'm not a fan of how they taste and the rancidity issue. By going with Omega 3 eggs, the flax is fed to the hens, and their metabolisms convert the ALA in the flax seeds to DHA, which is then deposited in the eggs.

    Sure, your body can do the conversion itself by consuming flax directly. But there is no advantage to doing this that I am aware of.

    35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

    (295)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 07:30 PM

    I'm not eating it for Omega 3s (though I do already eat omega 3 eggs). I am curious though if I should limit my intake because of the other reasons as well.

    0
    11528ae9e91f95a8082841893b0d2984

    (0)

    on January 18, 2013
    at 05:52 PM

    Hi.. i know i saw this too late but here are my 2 cents. The difference between flax seeds and flax seed oil is that flax seed oil only provides you omega 3, however, flax seeds provide you source of fiber too. As for recommended daily intake, 1.6 grams is the maximum amount of daily recommended intake(which is 1 tablespoon of grounded flax seeds). Grounded flax seed is better option than whole seed since whole seed passed through your digestive system and does not give you benefits of flax seed to the maximum. To get maximum benefits, use grounded flax seed. Put a tablespoon of flax seed in boiled water meant to boil rice and you should be ok with it.

    Regarding the side effects of flax seed, going above the recommended daily dosage can cause Bowel Obstruction (Intestinal Obstruction)- Details can be read here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001306/

    Also google 'bowel obstruction'

    Just follow the recommended dosage till you achieve your desired weight and then quit using flax seeds and concentrate on keeping your weight constant or a little bit fluctuating by means of controlling your Nutrients intake and exercise. Hope it helps.

    0
    F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

    (678)

    on September 01, 2010
    at 08:16 PM

    i dropped flax for chia seed awhile back.

    chia doesn't contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid, nor does it contain any phytoestrogens. also, it doesn't require grinding - the hull is digestible.

    it isn't a staple by any means, but it serves me well when i feel like eating a grain.

    nutsonline.com is a good source. (i'm not affiliated with them, simply a customer)

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