Does Flaxseed Work?

Flaxseed is believed to have many health benefits, but many people wonder, "Does flaxseed work?" Studies show that flaxseed may be effective for reducing cholesterol and relieving menopause symptoms. Although there isn't much scientific evidence to show that flaxseed works for constipation relief and heart disease prevention, it is reasonable to assume that it is effective for these uses.

Does Flaxseed Really Work?

Many people are interested in the health benefits of flaxseed. But does flaxseed really work for high cholesterol or other conditions? This article addresses the effectiveness of flaxseed for several different uses, including:
 
Flaxseed is not exactly the same as flaxseed oil, which does not contain some of the active components of flaxseed. The information in this article does not apply to flaxseed oil.
 
Does Flaxseed Work for Constipation?
There really isn't much scientific evidence backing up the claim that flaxseed works for constipation, but it is reasonable to assume that it probably is effective for this use. Like all other fiber, flaxseed should be taken with plenty of water and can probably be used to both prevent and treat constipation.
 
Does Flaxseed Work for High Cholesterol?
Preliminary studies have demonstrated that various forms of flaxseed (such as raw flaxseed and flaxseed in baked goods) can help lower cholesterol, although the evidence is not conclusive. Larger, more carefully designed studies are necessary before it can be said with certainty that flaxseed lowers cholesterol.
 
Specifically, early research suggests that flaxseed may lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"). It does not seem to have much effect on HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol") or triglycerides, although partially defatted flaxseed (which is flaxseed that has some of the fat removed) may actually increase triglycerides.
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