There is little doubt that flaxseed oil supplements can provide some benefits. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, flaxseed oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, for colon cleansing, the oil from flaxseed may not be the best choice. Colon cleansing is a method some believe will remove toxins from the gastrointestinal tract to promote growth of healthy intestinal bacteria. Medically, colon cleansing may not be necessary. You should discuss cleansing with your doctor before beginning a regimen to clean out the intestinal tract.
Flaxseed oil comes from the flax plant, or Linum usitatissimum, and is sometimes known as linseed oil. Besides supplying a rich source of omega fatty acids, flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, a precursor to biological omega-3 fatty acid. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that essential fatty acids, such as omega-3, may help reduce inflammation and work toward preventing heart disease and arthritis. Studies show flaxseed oil may not provide the same benefits as other sources of omega-3, such as fish oil.
Flaxseed Oil vs. Flaxseed
Flaxseed oil is a derivative of flaxseed, the seed from the flax plant. While the oil contains the nutrients of the seed, it does not provide the same fiber. According to Mayo Clinic.com flaxseed has laxative properties and may help clear the colon of blockage and matter. Flaxseed oil does not have the fiber mucilage to aid in cleansing. There are benefits to both forms, but the oil from the seed will not clear obstructions. Mayo Clinic.com states that some studies show flaxseed, in its original form, may help with diseases such as breast cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and prostrate cancer. Both components might work to prevent heart disease and reduce high cholesterol.
Those who support colon cleansing rituals believe that over time toxins build up in the body that affect overall health and may trigger diseases such as arthritis or asthma. Michael Picco, M.D., from Mayo Clinic.com, reports that for some, colon cleansing can be dangerous and for most people it is not necessary. The human digestive system will eliminate waste material and bacteria that the body does not need independent of the cleansing routine.
Flaxseed oil does provide benefits that may help to lower cholesterol and increase the amount of essential fatty acids in the diet. Flaxseed oil can be found in liquid or soft gel capsule form and is readily available at local stores. The use of this oil as an ingredient for colon cleansing is unsubstantiated. Colon cleansing can help to relieve constipation and remove obstructions from the bowel. Doctors will sometimes recommend colon cleansing prior to a testing procedures, such as colonoscopy.
Flaxseed oil can be found in some commercial colon cleansing products. As a laxative, you may find it ineffective. Colon cleansing is not a routine needed by the body. If you do choose to colon cleanse, you should talk to your doctor first and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Instead of colon cleansing, consider increasing your daily water intake and dietary fiber. Regular exercise will also improve bowel movements.