Side Effects of Ground Flaxseed

Shalu Bhatti Mar 6, 2019
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We all are aware of the varied health benefits of ground flaxseed, but have you ever realized that fact, that there are also certain side effects that can spell trouble for your body. Read on, to know more...
Whenever we hear of the term 'flaxseed', we think of an excellent dietary source that is rich in essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, low carbohydrates and vitamin E and an antioxidant that is helpful in reducing cardiovascular problems, arthritis, lupus and even cancer.
Ground flaxseed is derived from the flax plant, also known as Linum usitatissimum, has brown to golden colored seeds. People consume it in the ground form, as whole flaxseed, powder or capsules. Though the benefits are undoubtedly a blessing to our health, the point to be noted is, even flaxseed has some side effects apart from the benefits.

Common Side Effects of Ground Flaxseed

They say too much of anything isn't good. When it comes to ground flaxseed, some people may experience some health concerns instead of benefits. This is why experts say that it is better to consume it in small quantities rather than consuming it in large quantities. Have a look at some of the most commonly observed side effects of ground flaxseed.


Consuming too much of ground flaxseed can cause indigestion and lead to symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence and cramps. In fact, people who start consuming it for the first time, mostly suffer from indigestion.

Obstruction in Digestive Tract

Another side effect of ground flaxseed is that it can cause significant obstruction in the digestive tract and even the throat of a person. This happens specially in cases wherein people consume it in the powdered form.
Flaxseed tends to swell up when consumed and tends to get stuck in the digestive tract creating an obstruction, therefore you should consume a lot of water while consuming it to avoid this side effect.

Laxative Effects on the Body

Flaxseed is known to have a laxative effect on the body as it tends to increase the bowel movements of a person which can result in diarrhea. Therefore, if you are suffering from certain intestinal problems like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), stomach ulcers, Crohn's disease, then it is advisable not to consume flaxseed.

Blood Disorders

Consumption of flaxseed makes a person prone to blood related problems. This is why experts advice people with bleeding disorders, or people those who are consuming blood thinners, not to go for flaxseed as it tends to increase blood clotting. It is also not advisable to include this in your diet if you are about to go for some dental or surgical procedure.

Other Health Conditions

Apart from the aforementioned side effects, other possible side effects include, allergic reactions, changes in the menstrual cycle in women, as flaxseed also affects the estrogen levels in the body causing hormonal imbalance.
Some say that flaxseed also triggers thyroid problems in people. Therefore, you must consult with your doctor about your individual health condition and the doses are safe to consume, if you have to consume it at all!
Apart from these side effects, various studies and researches have been done, and are still taking place to find out more about the benefits and side effects of flaxseed. One of the studies stated that flaxseed can also affect the development of the embryo, although nothing has been stated about flaxseed effect on humans during pregnancy.
Though, flaxseed is a great source of many nutrients, make sure that you consume it in limited quantities as per your doctor's advice. Take care.
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