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What are the risks of taking flaxseed?

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Never eat raw or unripe flaxseed -- it could be poisonous. People who have diabetes, bipolar disorder, high triglycerides, bleeding disorders, or prostate cancer should talk to a doctor before using flaxseed or flaxseed oil. Anyone with digestive problems (like Crohn's disease, IBS, or colitis) and women with hormone-sensitive diseases (like endometriosis, PCOS, breast cancer, and uterine cancer) should not use flaxseed.

Given the lack of evidence about its safety, flaxseed and flaxseed oil is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

From: Flaxseed WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Longe, J., ed. , second edition, 2004. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site: "About Herbs: Flaxseed."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine web site: "Herbs at a Glance: Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil."

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site: "Flaxseed."

Natural Standard Patient Monograph: "Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil."

Wahrburg, U.  2004. European Journal of Nutrition,

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 12, 2019

SOURCES:

Longe, J., ed. , second edition, 2004. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site: "About Herbs: Flaxseed."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine web site: "Herbs at a Glance: Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil."

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site: "Flaxseed."

Natural Standard Patient Monograph: "Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil."

Wahrburg, U.  2004. European Journal of Nutrition,

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 12, 2019

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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