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What are the side effects of taking flaxseed?

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At normal doses, flaxseed and flaxseed oil seem to be safe. Flaxseed -- and not flaxseed oil -- contains soluble fiber. It might cause diarrhea, cramping, gas, and bloating. High doses of flaxseed, especially when not taken with enough water, can cause constipation and, rarely, bowel obstruction. If ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil oxidizes (goes rancid), it may cause cholesterol problems and inflammation.

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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What are the risks of taking flaxseed?

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