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Complementary Medicine

What are the Benefits of Flaxseed Oil?

06/15/2004

Question:

I am a five year breast cancer survivor. My tumor was nonestrogen and nonprogesterone receptive. My eye doctor had recommended flaxseed oil for dryness in my eyes. When I first checked on it I found no articles saying that it was contraindicated after cancer treatment. Can you find an answer for me? It was recommended that I switch from it to Evening Primrose. I would also like to know if you have any information on this oil. Thank you.

Answer:

Flaxseed Oil is a wonderful source of Omega 3 Fatty acids.  Its benefits are similar to fish oil.  Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering essential fatty acids.  Our body cannot make them ourselves, so we must get them from dietary sources.  Flaxseed and fish are not contraindicated in cancer, and because they are anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant, may prove beneficial in cancer prevention and helpful in treatment.  Fish oil has been shown to help reduce recurrent cardiovascular disease, and to decrease symptoms of autoimmune diseases like Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis.

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University