Flax Seeds Side Effects That You Must Know

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Linseed or Flax is generally termed flaxseeds. They are generally cultivated in the form of food or a fiber crop in temperate climatic conditions.

These seeds are generally used to improve digestion or for providing relief to constipation.  These are also consumed to have a reduction in the total levels of blood cholesterol and LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein).

This certainly might aid to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases or problems. Flax seeds are generally considered to be very safe for people when they are consumed in a very adequate amount.

They could be proven to be having some side effects when the limited amount is exceeded. Also, raw flax seeds must be avoided since they could be capable of causing digestion-related issues as well as might contain toxins too.

Flax Seeds Side Effects
  • Might Show Allergy

    The chances of having an allergy to flax seeds or their oil are potentially high. Hence you must consider stopping the consumption or its usage if you notice any rashes, swelling, itching, hive, or redness.

    Sometimes a person consuming or using flax could also feel nauseated and might even start to vomit which could be an indication of the allergy.

    People who consume flax seeds at frequent intervals are more prone to have an allergy due to this.

  • Could Increase Inflammation

    These seeds generally contain omega 3 fatty acids and as per a study done on this by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    It was concluded that flaxseeds could even prove to be very problematic as they might be capable of inducing inflammation in the body.

  • Avoid Consuming If You Are Trying To Have A Baby

    Flaxseeds sometimes behave like estrogen and that might be capable of hampering the hormonal imbalances in your body.

    Some women reportedly experienced issues like Polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian diseases, and uterine cancer or fibroids.

  • Unsafe During The Period Of Lactation And Pregnancy

    Flaxseeds might prove to be harmful to pregnant women. It is due to the presence of similarities in estrogen therefore it is recommended to have consumption of these only after medical assistance.

  • Could Cause Loose Motion

    Due to the richness in dietary fiber, sudden consumption could increase the bowel movements in the stomach and also might be capable of inducing ache in the stomach, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.

  • Might Cause Blockages In The Intestines

    Flaxseeds should never be consumed without any fluid since it could lead to obstructions and blockages in the intestine. Hence it is always advised to be consumed under proper medical assistance.

  • Could Potentially React To Other Medicines

    It could react to other medications and supplements and also with the medications which are advised for the lowering of the blood sugar levels on an oral basis. Hence, when on such medications one must consult a physician.

  • Could Also Cause Premature Birth

    Pregnancy is a period when a woman must be given extra care. Sometimes even harmless foods could also lead to unwanted reactions.

    Therefore it is recommended to have a checkup done by a health professional before introducing anything new.

    Generally, women who are pregnant must avoid flaxseed oil during the second or third half-cycle of a pregnancy period.

    Since it could lead to low birth weight of a baby or might cause premature birth rapidly in the multiples of 4.

Some Other Side Effects Of Flaxseed And Flaxseed Oil

Although it is a natural food source and plant-based oil, it could still possess some risks that include

  • Sometimes it could be abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and gastrointestinal issues.
  • Could be toxic if eaten flaxseeds are not ripe.
  • Could decrease blood pressure.
  • Could increase the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Could irritate drug interactions.
  • Could cause sensitivity to the skin.

Since Flax components contain omega 3 fatty acids it is a good way to supplement your diet but sometimes it might also cause adverse effects too.

Since there could also be plenty of health benefits of flaxseed but still it doesn’t mean that it would be suitable for everyone.

People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are generally advised to avoid flaxseeds and their products.

This is due to the action of laxatives that could irritate their colon walls which might lead to inflammations and if it gets more serious then might even lead to bleeding.

Sometimes it is also advised te people suffering from endometriosis and hormonal imbalance must not consume the flaxseed and its supplements as it could be capable of mimicking the estrogen effects on their body.

Precautions With Flax Seeds

Consuming flax seeds is a good idea but there must be some precautions made which might include

  •  Before adding any supplement to their diets, one must consult a health professional first.
  • Pregnant women must avoid taking the flaxseeds since they could mimic and might boost estrogen levels.
  • Must be taken with water and not dry since it is high in fiber.
  • One must limit the usage of flaxseeds if one consumes fish twice a week. Since it is also high in omega 3 fatty acids and also the fish.
  • Flaxseeds must be avoided by lactating mothers.
  • It must be avoided by the hormone-sensitive cancers or conditions facing people.
  • People having high triglyceride levels must avoid it.
  • People who are either about to have surgery of any kind or are done with surgery must also avoid flaxseeds and their supplementation.

Main Complications With Flax Seeds

Although, there is a very less chance of a complication occurring by consuming flaxseeds.  As per some studies it is claimed that it could be capable of causing prostate cancer.

There are some studies in a contradictory manner that suggest that it could be useful in decreasing the risk of prostate cancer hence there is a lot to be known about these to jump to a conclusion.

Although the men that have the risk of having prostate cancer or are suffering from those must always consider visiting a physician before including this in their diet.


Flaxseeds could not be a sure sort cure for any health conditions but surely it could help to have the reduction in those diseases.

But anything that is taken in the right dose could only be capable of providing the cure for the desired results. There is only a limited amount of research done yet regarding its safety and benefits and also some of them are contradictory.

Hence, it is always recommended to consult your health professional when considering it to include in your diet. Since it might possess some risks regarding health issues too.

Pregnant women must also be aware of consuming or using flaxseeds since it contains Lignans which are the compounds found in plants that share similar characteristics to the female hormone estrogen.

Hence, it could cause issues in their body and could lead to the premature birth of the baby. Therefore it is recommended for them to consult a health professional before they start to use flaxseeds.