Flaxseed oil

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Frunobulax
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Flaxseed oil

Post by Frunobulax »

Has anyone else observed a relation between flaxseed oil and a reduction of snoring and/or RLS symptoms? Thought I should share this, maybe somebody else benefits. Something very curious happened to me. After starting to consume large quantities of flaxseed oil I virtually stopped snoring. Weird. And I do believe it also helps my RLS symptoms, a lot. Nice, of course, but still weird. Here is the story.

I started snoring heavily when I was put on an opioid about 6 years ago, and using an app (Android: SnoreClock) that tracks snoring I found that I would snore maybe 2/3rds of my sleeping time if I didn't use my CPAP mask. Going keto I lost 30 pounds last year and stopped using the mask. A sleep lab 2 months ago confirmed that I had no apneas to speak of but had obstructive snoring, about 1/3rd of my sleeping time (guess the weight loss helped). This was very consistent for 3 months (December to February), where my snoring would be between 25% and 35% almost every night.

About a month ago I started to supplement flaxseed oil. I do believe that we need to eat a lot more omega-3 fatty acids (a bit of discussion over here http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=10588#p100251) -- we know that we accumulate the "evil" counterpart omega-6 in our lipid cells, about 25% of our body fat is nowadays linoleic acid (omega-6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26567191. As flaxseed oil contains about 60% omega-3 and only 20% omega-6, it's a prime candidate to shift the fat balance towards omega-3, even though the omega-3 is not in the bioactive form (alpha-linoleic acid and not DHA/EPA) as in fish oil supplements.

So I started to consume about 50ml of flaxseed oil per day, a month ago. I really like salad with flaxseed oil, even though it takes a bit getting used to. And my snoring dropped from 30% to under 10% of the sleeping time. The last 3 nights were 4%, 6% and 1%. I do believe it's the flaxseed oil: After leaving it out for 3 days (not really intentionally, I just didn't have any salad to put it on I think) my snoring went right up to over 20%, and back when I reintroduced the oil. And I guess after a month it's time to share it, because it doesn't seem to be a fluke. The measuring app SnoreClock appears reliable, it records the sounds and you can play it back, and it certainly seems to be on the numbers when detecting snoring or not. Can't see a placebo effect, because I certainly did not expect any effect. But started wondering why I didn't snore anymore. I do track the food I'm eating, and found retrospectively that the reduction in snoring really started shortly after the flaxseed oil experiment.

Also my RLS seems to be better. I take 2 doses of oxycodone a day, 10mg midday and 10-15mg in the evening: There are phases where I'm fine with 20mg, sometimes I need more. To cut a long story short, seems I was fine with 20mg last year when I consumed a lot of olive oil and flaxseed oil (both have a lot of polyphenols, and differ in this respect from most other oils) while I needed 25mg when I went carnivore for a couple of months and avoided veggie oils. Today I even fell asleep in the early afternoon, was sleepy for most of the remaining day, and realized in the evening that I forgot to take my midday Oxycodone. Wouldn't have thought this possible -- I rarely forget my medication, but it happens sometimes and I'll reliably get RLS symptoms whenever I rest in the afternoon. I'll try to go down to 20mg and maybe even to 15mg in the next weeks.

Notes:
1. I consume organic flaxseed oil fresh from an oil mill. A major issue with flaxseed oil is that it spoils really quick. Fresh flaxseed oil does not taste bitter but nutty. If you buy flaxseed oil that is bitter then it's already partly oxidized, which unfortunately is true for 99% of the flaxseed oil you get in stores (even oil that is just 2-3 months old, sometimes the production date is printed on the label). I'm not really sure if it loses all beneficial effects if it's gone a bit bitter, but would still recommend buying the fresh stuff (which tastes a lot better too). Over here in Europe I get a liter organic, fresh oil for about $22, which is not that much more expensive than organic flaxseed in stores. It will arrive at your home a few days after pressing, and stay fresh for a while if you keep it in the fridge.

2. If you want to try this, make sure that you strictly reduce omega-6 intake (corn oil, soy oil, canola and sunflower, basically all cheap vegetable oils). Avoid everything that is high in polyunsaturated fats. It's really harmful if we eat too much, and we eat way too much in our western diet. The problem is that omega-6 is very cheap and advertised as heart healthy, so a lot of people use omega-6 as their main oil source. As for vegetable oils, stick mainly to flaxseed oil, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. Butter and lard are fine, too.

3. I'm not sure if my diet influences the effect of flaxseed oil. I'm eating a fairly strict keto, and and avoid lectins and oxalates (plant-based antinutrients, that are high in nightshades, almonds, some berries, spinach and a few other veggies). I seem to have found something that really helps both my RLS and ME/CFS, and I do believe that everything starts and ends with the diet. Restricting sugar and carbs is a low price to pay for significantly improved health. Essentially I eat mostly what our ancestors ate, when we were hunters and gatherers, of course with full benefits from modern cooking and baking.

mack
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:11 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by mack »

It sounds like you are really on to something important. Although I don't understand some of what you are saying about diet, a couple of questions about flaxseed oil...

Can you take it in pill or capsule form? If so, would it still be effective? Thank you.

Frunobulax
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by Frunobulax »

mack wrote: Can you take it in pill or capsule form? If so, would it still be effective?
There are two things in flaxseed oil that may be beneficial. You can get both as capsules. However, you may have to take a LOT of capsules to achieve the same effect.

1. Polyphenols. This is stuff that our "good" gut bacteria love, and we know that both flaxseed oil and olive oil contain a lot of them. Polyphenols are available as capsules, but no one knows if they have health benefits.
2. The omega-3 fat. 50g flaxseed oil contains 30g omega-3, which would be about 30 capsules daily. It's cheaper and easier to use flaxseed oil.

I'd put my money on a combination of both, but (2) may be the more important one. (This is just a gut feeling, no pun intended. We've known about polyphenols in research for at least 30 years, but the fact that omega-6 is bad is fairly new.)

Now it gets a bit technical. How much omega-3 do you need to eat, if (2) is the main factor? We need "enough" omega-3 in our lipid cells.
The issue with omega-3 and omega-6: Scientists say the ideal ratio in our diet is 1:1, but anything up to 1:4 is still considered healthy. But a western diet is often in the 1:20 to 1:30 range https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909. Bottom line: If you have 40 pounds body fat (which would be someone who is moderately overweight), 10 pounds of that will be omega-6 and almost nothing will be omega-3. To get to the desired balance, you'll need to get at least 3 pounds omega-3 in your lipid cells. If we optimistically assume that maybe 1/4th of the fat gets into the lipid cells, you'll need 12 pounds of omega-3 (the rest will be used for energy). At 30g omega-3 a day, this takes 200 days. At 2g omega-3 (2 capsules a day), this takes - well, forever, because we have probably too much omega-6 in the diet that the 2 capsules don't make a difference. My personal approach here is to lose my body fat. I was at 230 pounds (at 5 foot 8-ish), now I'm at 200. About 40 more pounds to go. (Note that I tried to lose weight for 30 years with various diets, unsuccessfully. The ketogenic diet is such a wonderful thing, because it seems that 99% of us can lose weight quickly with that.)

There will be short term effects from a lot of omega-3 of course. The body uses mostly fat from our food and only little fat from lipid cells, unless we're losing weight fast. So we should see some quick benefits if we add a lot of omega-3. (I know that some hospitals will give omega-3 as IVs if they have patients with serious inflammation. This circumvents the digestion.)

mack
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:11 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by mack »

OK, so it wouldn't make much sense to go with capsules. Thank you for the explanation.

It should be interesting looking for flaxseed oil. I don't remember seeing it. I wonder if its even available where I'm at (central Pennsylvania, US).

XenMan
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by XenMan »

I tried flaxseed oil but didn't notice a difference with RLS or general health.

I stopped using it because it is the worse for omega 3 and can have negative impacts on bleeding, blood pressure and interaction with other medications. Although most normal people will not have any issues.

Flaxseed oil has ALA and "The main problem with ALA is that to have the good effects attributed to omega-3s, it must be converted by a limited supply of enzymes into EPA and DHA. As a result, only a small fraction of it has omega-3's effects — 10%–15%, maybe less."

An expensive and inefficient way to get omega 3, but if it helps that is a good outcome.

Frunobulax
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by Frunobulax »

XenMan wrote: Flaxseed oil has ALA and "The main problem with ALA is that to have the good effects attributed to omega-3s, it must be converted by a limited supply of enzymes into EPA and DHA. As a result, only a small fraction of it has omega-3's effects — 10%–15%, maybe less."
Source? This is only part of the truth.

(a) Correct: We need the bioactive omega-3 forms DHA and EPA, especially for our brain and our immune system. And it's true that not a lot of that ALA will be converted to DHA and EPA. (Getting some flaxseed oil will however supply some DHA and EPA. So it helps a bit. But if that 10% value is true, my 30g ALA will still give as much EPA and DHA as 3 capsules of fish oil.)

(b) However, as far as the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 is concerned, it seems that ALA is not different from EPA to DHA. It is _not_ correct that ALA must be converted for this purpuse. The main effect of high omega-3 is a reduction in systemic inflammation, and also a change in the way our mitochondria operate and the ratio of certain chemicals they produce. (Mike Eades has done a recent blog post on this. https://proteinpower.com/a-new-hypothesis-of-obesity/ If you want to dig deeper, look into the protons theory at hyperlipid http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/.) So ALA (and flaxseed oil) helps us getting rid of excess omega-6.

Bottom line: Omega-3 is important for 2 things, (a) as essential fats and as (b) counterpart of omega-6. Flaxseed oil works perfectly for (b) and a bit for (a). Clearly it won't be efficient for all of us, but there is a sound biochemical basis why it could help _some_ of us. And it certainly seems to do something for me.

What's your source for the side effects? Webmd considers it safe. Sites like https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_flaxsee ... dition.htm say "Flaxseed has no known severe interactions with other drugs.". Some digestion issues (bloating, stomach ache, diarrhea) can occur but are not dangerous. And frankly I have done some research and have not found anything that would make flaxseed oil more dangerous than any other supplement. Of course all supplements can have side effects. The warning that flaxseed oil can prevent blood clotting, well, all I could find was one fairly weak study that observed that a certain ratio of fatty acids change. In fact, they said it can prevent blood clotting because the EPA content is higher. Frankly, I have never seen any warning that omega-3 supplements are dangerous there, why should flaxseed oil be any different where the effect on EPA is a LOT weaker?

XenMan
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by XenMan »

Yeah, I don't usually respond to your posts as all the information I state is always very easily found, I mostly disagree with everything you post and the usual straw man arguments. Omega 6, benefits of omega 3, dangerous? Not raised by me.

So we will leave it at that.

Frunobulax
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by Frunobulax »

XenMan wrote:Yeah, I don't usually respond to your posts as all the information I state is always very easily found, I mostly disagree with everything you post and the usual straw man arguments.
The information that the earth is flat and covid-19 is no worse than seasonal influenza are easily found too. Doesn't make it true. I hope your information is on firmer ground, but I can't check, can I?

I wasted 15 minutes of my time yesterday following up your claims. Mayo Clinic warns of clotting issues but doesn't give a reference for that claim. Google Scholar finds one article behind a paywall (the first page indicates it's a case report of one man), and one single weak study that isn't even available behind a paywall (because no one bothered to digitize the 1995 issue of the journal) which claims that clotting might be impeded https://europepmc.org/article/med/7774533. They abstract says that collagen response was decreased, but not by how much. It had 11 participants, 5 in the flaxseed group. Is that your easy to find source? If it is, sorry, I'm not convinced. I have read numerous studies, and this follows a very familiar pattern: Low number of participants (mathematicians turning in their graves if anyone gives statistical significance to 5 cases), weak evidence, published in a nutrition journal, a surprising result that has never been verified in another study. (Somewhat off topic: The other group was sunflower oil, so the claim is that omega-6 oil is better than flaxseed oil for something. We do know that there is a massive industry behind cheap vegetable oils like canola and sunflower oil, who have their own scientists cranking out studies to (a) support their products and (b) discredit competing products. I don't think there is any scientific area with such an abundance of conflicting studies funded by large companies as fat research, with the possible exception of sugar. I welcome everybody to check out this video from Jason Fung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6IO2DZjOkY. Or read Nina Teichholz, "Fat Chance", describing how there were 5 studies defending transfats for every study warning about them in the last century. Science gets often left behind if money is to be made. For example, there was a review of studies checking if drinks with added sugar cause obesity. https://doi.org/10.7326/L16-0534. They found ~60 studies, and almost half of them claimed that sugar is healthy, you can safely have softdrinks. Of course, all of these studies were founded by the sugar industry. All studies coming to the opposite result were founded independently. )

I gave you some studies (I have more of course) and a biochemical reasoning. If you think that I'm wrong then show me _your_ science, please, instead of giving me the "strawman" treatment.

XenMan
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Better Things To Do

Post by XenMan »

Ok, so I’m going to be rude here, as you have asked me to be.

Forums on the internet are mostly “I have a white car they are the best”, with replies of “I have a white car they are the best” or “I have a black car, they are the best and you are an idiot”. Very rarely you get discussions, as mostly there is one dominant view with no opposition or an opposing defence to the death; classic tribalism.

I like discussions in forums as I enjoy being proven wrong; it is how you learn. So unless I’m trolling, I like to write ‘it appears’, ‘suggests’ or ‘most likely’ on subjects. For those that engage with differing views, I ask why or what is the alternative evidence by focusing on that; not the person. It is also easy to pick people that just aren’t worth engaging with because for them it is all about ‘my view is the only way’. Of course, other than for trolling.

So your style of engaging is personal over subjective, and frankly just a long tirade of narcissistic insults. Express your views for those who are interested, but I don’t engage with you for this reason; except by mistake in this case.

If you had simply asked ‘why do you think that way’ or ‘what is that based on’, I would of told of my 2 years with flaxseed oil, my alternatives, a link to the blood pressure information and also would have said I was wrong on the bleeding as it the same with all omega 3 as part of the protective heart effect. I may have even engaged in conversation and referred to a Michael Mosely doco I saw on this the other day.

In a response from you, I got a massive wall of words with overall hostility and lots of straw man arguments. Most people really dislike these two as they seem to go together, as well as signal for me that any response is pointless. Your second response highlights the issues nicely. If you don’t know what a straw man argument is, this post is a classic with ‘the earth is flat, covid-19, I wasted 15 minutes of my time, weak evidence, so the claim is that omega-6 oil is better than flaxseed oil, drinks with added sugar cause obesity, if you think that I'm wrong’ are highlights as there is no mention or suggestion of these. Instead of a tantrum, you could ask for clarification, and I would have made myself clear.

So if you are happy communicating this way, then more power to you. But if you want engagement with people you may find your bullying style less than receptive. I don’t engage in this way unless I choose to do it, expect the same or no response, as well as saving it for individuals and the right forum.

Frunobulax
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by Frunobulax »

"I mostly disagree with everything you post and the usual straw man arguments." isn't exactly helpful. So my last post was probably more agressive than it should have been.

Still, in all our conversations you haven't brought up a single link to a source, study or a scientific argument. I've tried to google your arguments that are "easy to find", apparently got the wrong ones, and in response I get "strawman", "just a long tirade of narcissistic insults" and "my view is the only way". Again, not helpful for a forum discussion.

I'm not the only one reading this thread, others may be interested too in why you disagree with me. So, will you tell them why you disagree with me?

XenMan
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by XenMan »

My disagreements with you are based on your extrapolation of ideas, and discussion of that opportunity is long gone. Readers can judge for themselves.

As for the interested others, who I'm sure have gone on to live successful lives and abandoned all interest in this, as with all supplements do some research and if in doubt check with your doctor. Flaxseed oil is worth trying as is any report of success with RLS symptoms, and for the average person it will probably do nothing noticeable. But once again, if you have a medical conditions, or are on medication, check with your doctor especially if you are looking at high doses.

Plenty of papers, but this link is mostly right and a simple guide:

Flaxseed oil doesn’t have as many benefits as other omega-3 sources like fish, fish oil, and flax in its seed form.

The use of flax seeds or flaxseed oil may result in lowered blood sugar.

Consuming flaxseed oil may lower your blood pressure.

The use of flax seeds may increase your chances of bleeding.


https://www.healthline.com/health/flaxs ... de-effects

Frunobulax
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by Frunobulax »

XenMan wrote: Flaxseed oil doesn’t have as many benefits as other omega-3 sources like fish, fish oil, and flax in its seed form.

The use of flax seeds or flaxseed oil may result in lowered blood sugar.

Consuming flaxseed oil may lower your blood pressure.

The use of flax seeds may increase your chances of bleeding.


https://www.healthline.com/health/flaxs ... de-effects
The page raises some valid concerns.

However, it sounds very negative compared to the referenced sources. The main source appears to be Mayo clinic, which is referenced for the key side effects. Mayo says flaxseed oil is safe with many benefits, but there are some concerns. Healthline is fairly negative, highlighting some benefits but focusing heavily on the concerns (and often linking to sources that don't support their claims).

For those who made it so far, let's go into more detail and compare the healthline claims with the referenced sources. (Emphasis added.)
  • Mayo summarizes Generally safe, When used in combination with daily exercise and a low cholesterol diet, flaxseed might help control cholesterol levels. Flaxseed might also be helpful for managing diabetes and lowering the risk of heart disease.. And under risks: When taken in recommended amounts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil are generally safe to use. However, when taken in large amounts and with too little water, flaxseed can cause: Bloating, Gas, Diarrhea. Avoid use of flaxseed and flaxseed oil during pregnancy. Occasionally, using flaxseed or flaxseed oil causes an allergic reaction. Don't eat raw or unripe flaxseeds. Because flaxseed oil might decrease blood clotting, stop using flaxseed oil two weeks before having elective surgery. The evidence is mixed as to whether flaxseed or flaxseed oil has any effect on the prostate or the risk of prostate cancer.
    Healthline: It’s important to be cautious when using flaxseed oil, as there are several risks and side effects. For many, the benefits of flax seeds and flaxseed oil may outweigh the risks of using the product. Use caution when adding flaxseed oil to your diet or using it as a supplement.
  • Mayo: Research on the use of flaxseed and flaxseed oil for specific conditions shows:
    • Heart disease. Some studies suggest that alpha-linolenic acid, which is found in flaxseed and flaxseed oil, might benefit people with heart disease. Early research also suggests that flaxseed might help lower high blood pressure, which plays a role in heart disease.
    • Cholesterol levels. Several studies show that taking flaxseed daily can reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels. However, other studies aren't as favorable.
    • Diabetes. Taking flaxseed might lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, the same results haven't been found for flaxseed oil.
    • Menopausal symptoms. Results have been mixed when it comes to use of flaxseed and the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
    Healthline: There are many studies currently under wayTrusted Source to link the use of flaxseed oil with positive health benefits, but there is no standard use of the supplement.
For the side effects, let's take blood pressure for example:
  • Healthline links to Mayo as only source, which reads Flaxseed oil might lower blood pressure. Taking flaxseed oil with drugs, herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure might lower blood pressure too much.
  • Healthline says Consuming flaxseed oil may lower your blood pressure. has the additional information If you have a condition or take a medication that lowers your blood pressure, adding this supplement to your diet could cause complications..
  • Essentially, Mayo says that flaxseed oil may be a problem if you take medication for high blood pressure. Healthline claims unconditionally that flaxseed oil lowers blood pressure.
From my perspective, the healthline page is not well researched and overemphasises the potential risks. But that's just my take, I guess everybody must make her/his own mind up on this.

Funnily enough, the first ad I saw when I checked the healthline page was for olive oil. A coincidence, I'm sure.

XenMan
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by XenMan »

Seriously, you must be trolling for attention, and I must be crazy for responding. You object to 'may' which indicates results vary, as well as ignore that the cautions listed will be a benefits if you want them to be. You basically wasted another wall of text agreeing with what you were objecting to. The site is 'too negative', is my favourite. I thought most people realised there is always a bias with sites like this, and you then check references if given or find papers. I said 'mostly right' for a reason.

More straw man arguments, kind of a 'I know better than you' toned hostility, cherry picking data for confirmation and optimism bias, conspiracy theories, as well as another tantrum as if it is a personal attack on you and flaxseed oil; no one cares that much.

Could you just stop if I say there are plenty of studies to suggest that there are health benefits of flaxseed oil for some people, omega 3 is better than omega 6, and no one is interested anymore. It was a mistake to contribute that I tried it and then moved on.

Frunobulax
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Flaxseed oil

Post by Frunobulax »

XenMan wrote:Seriously, you must be trolling for attention [...]
You basically wasted another wall of text agreeing with what you were objecting to. [...]
More straw man arguments, kind of a 'I know better than you' toned hostility, cherry picking data for confirmation and optimism bias, conspiracy theories, as well as another tantrum
XenMan wrote: I like discussions in forums as I enjoy being proven wrong; it is how you learn. So unless I’m trolling, I like to write ‘it appears’, ‘suggests’ or ‘most likely’ on subjects. For those that engage with differing views, I ask why or what is the alternative evidence by focusing on that; not the person.
Well, well, well.

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