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Types of Flaxseed Oil: Choose the Best for You

types of flaxseed oil

Photo credit: wikipedia

There are a lot of types of flaxseed oil in the market.  Flaxseed oil is obtained from flax seeds and possesses a large amount of health benefits. As Wikipedia states, it contains omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid ALA, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular system problems. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure as well as reduces inflammation in the cells.  Flaxseed oil is sold in the form of manufactured liquid oil and in capsules. What is the difference? What flaxseed oil to choose: expeller pressed or cold pressed flaxseed oil? What does organic flaxseed oil mean? What is better: filtered or unfiltered? Let’s consider it.

Expeller pressed or cold pressed flaxseed oil

Cold pressed flaxseed oil is derived from flax seeds at a minimal temperature of processing to save the integrity of flax seeds and its components. The cold-pressing method means that the expelling temperature is maintained below 23°C (73.4°F). If you purchase flaxseed oil choose this variety although it is more expensive. (Read more where to buy flaxseed oil). The cold-pressed flaxseed oil is of high quality for health benefits and a clear taste. It is much richer in omega-3 essential fatty acids than expeller pressed flaxseed oil.

Expeller pressed flaxseed oil means that the oil has been derived at higher temperatures and pressure. Sometimes you may see the label “expeller cold pressed oil”. It happens when not very high temperature of processing was applied to break down flax seeds. The fact is that there are no standards for cold pressed flaxseed oil production in the USA. In Europe the temperature of over 80° Fahrenheit (27° Celsius) can’t be applied for cold pressed oil production.

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Organic flaxseed oil

Organic flaxseed oil is taken from certified organically grown seeds of flax. It is usually extracted with the help of cold pressed extraction method that maintains omega-3 fatty acids from damage under excess heat. Organic flaxseed oil is the best choice for us. 

Filtered or unfiltered

Flax seeds contain lignans, substances with estrogenic properties effective against heart diseases. According to researches carried out in the Linus Pauling Institute, sometimes high consumption of lignans help reduce breast, prostate and endometrial cancer. However, other studies show no connection between lignans and cancer. Read more about flaxseed oil and cancer.

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Flaxseed oil can be filtered or unfiltered. Producers that don’t filter their oil declare that in this case flaxseed oil possesses lignans in small parts of ground flaxseed. Manufactures filtering the oil say that the aim of filtering is to remove all the impurities from flaxseed oil, which make the oil rancid very fast. Spectrum, a widely-known producer of oil, supplement flaxseed oil with clean ground flaxseeds after its filtering, thus, retaining its benefits and removing unnecessary impurities.

However, the amount of lignans in any type of flaxseed oil is small. If you need to add lignans to your diet, eat flax seeds, not oil. Flax seeds are better than flaxseed oil for constipation.  If you want to avoid lignans and worry of their estrogenic effect choose filtered flaxseed oil.