Vicki Martin, Nutritionist and Naturopath
Naturopath Vicki Martin offers a quick overview of Flaxseed Oil, which is often used for natural skin care
Flaxseed oil comes from the seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum, L.).
Flaxseed oil contains both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which our bodies need for health. One of the most important of these is the essential fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). Our bodies convert into ALA Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): the two Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil.
Some researchers think that flaxseed oil might have some of the same benefits as fish oil. However, our bodies are not very efficient at converting ALA into EPA and DHA; and the benefits of ALA, EPA and DHA are all different. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and help protect against certain chronic diseases and joint problems. Plus, the unique combination of fatty acids in flaxseed oil are well known to help nourish lustrous hair, strong nails, and a smooth complexion. They may even help with dry flaky skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Getting a good balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet is also important. A healthy diet should provide roughly 2-4 times fewer Omega 6 fatty acids than Omega 3 fatty acids. With its ratio of Omega 3 to 6 acids (and, indeed, Omega 9 as well) flaxseed oil may be the perfect Omega essential fatty acid supplement
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