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6 Side Effects Of Consuming Flaxseeds

Health benefits of flaxseeds are so hyped that people ignore its side effects.

6 Side Effects Of Consuming Flaxseeds

Excess consumption of flaxseeds can have side effects


  1. Flaxseeds may induce loose stools if consumed in large quantities
  2. Flaxseeds delay blood clotting
  3. Consuming too much of flaxseeds can make you more prone to cancer

Flaxseeds have recently gained a lot of popularity as a vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids. This fiber-rich seed has gained a lot of popularity in the recent times as a weight loss friendly seed. Plus the phytochemicals and lignans make it beneficial for everyone, especially for women. Flaxseeds surely are healthy, but due to the extensive hype, the side effects of this seed are usually ignored. As a result, you end up consuming way too much of these seeds and land in a disturbed health condition.

Also read: Flaxseeds, The Super Seed For Weight Loss! Know All About It

Here's a list of the possible side effects of flaxseeds:

1. Loose stools

These fibre-rich seeds may, in fact, induce loose stools if consumed in large quantities. When consumed in limited quantities, it prevents constipation and ensures regular and healthy bowel movements. However, an excess of flaxseeds can increase the frequency and count of your bowel movements. It can even lead to diarrhea in some cases and IBS. And those who already are suffering from these health conditions should avoid flaxseeds in all circumstances.

2. Intestinal blockage

Experts say that consuming too much of flaxseeds without enough fluids can lead to intestinal blockage and obstructions. Those who have already dealt with such conditions are expected to avoid these seeds. - Scleroderma patients should be cautious about flax seed intake because it can cause severe constipation and bowel obstruction. In fact flaxseed oil is effectively used in the treatment of scleroderma.

Also read: These 10 Seeds Have Tremendous Nutritional Value

3. Allergic reactions

Some people report allergic reactions due to excess consumption of these seeds. Prolonged obstructed breathing, low blood pressure levels and anaphylaxis are the most commonly reported allergic reactions of flaxseeds. Other reactions include nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

4. For women trying to conceive

These brown seeds mimic the action of estrogen and women who consume flaxseeds regularly experience changes in their menstrual cycles. Women experiencing hormone related conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer should be cautious about overuse of flaxseed. These disturbances can end up in infertility.

5. Unsafe during pregnancy

Due to their estrogen like effect, flaxseeds can induce menstrual cycles. So it is not recommended for expectant mothers because these seeds can induce periods and harm the baby and the mother in an unexpected way.

6. Reactions with other medication

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Flaxseeds, rich in fibre, can block the digestive tract and prevent the absorption of certain medication and supplements. So when on oral medication, one must avoid consuming flaxseeds. They may also change the effects of blood thinning medication and blood sugar medicines. So check with your doctor before you include flaxseeds in your diet. 

According to Pooja Malhotra, a Delhi based nutritionist, Consumption of flax seeds in moderation has several established benefits like lowering of blood sugar, blood cholesterol, help in treating autoimmune disorders. They are also a good source of fibre, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants etc. Some of the benefits are yet not established by conclusive evidence. Yet over consumption of flax seed of the sake of loosing weight is not advisable as it can produce some serious side effects. Infact, excessive consumption of any food is not advisable, even though it may be healthy otherwise. Ones needs to strike a balance and consume balanced meals.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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