alpha-linolenic acid. flaxseeds and their oil are also the best sources of an essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. "essential" means we must consume it, because our bodies cannot manufacture it. essential fatty acids are important for cell membranes, blood pressure regulation, and other functions. an omega-3, similar to some of the fatty acids in fish oil. like aspirin, omega-3s may reduce blood clotting. flaxseeds and their oil may also lower total blood cholesterol, as well as LDL ("bad") cholesterol. flaxseeds contain lignans—which may have anti-cancer properties.
the seed of flax used as a source of oil
Flax is one of the world's oldest cultivated plants and researchers are currently investigating its many health benefits after discovering flaxseed can aid cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction and digestion. It also curbs appetite and helps to keep blood sugar stable. In addition to containing potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and calcium, its soluble and insoluble fibers promote intestinal health and regularity, due to its mild laxative effect. Like other sources of soluble fiber, it has been reported to also lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol. Flaxseed's most notable ingredient, lignans, are powerful antioxidants that are metabolized by bacteria in the colon into substances which possess anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.