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Can Flaxseeds Cause Acne?

Acne sufferers struggle with finding the cause of their acne. While there are many causes of acne, some of the most common ones include inflammatory foods, hormonal changes, new medications, or an overproduction in sebum. A new addition to your diet can cause changes in the way your body works, including changes in metabolism, oil production and hormones. Flaxseeds in the diet may influence the severity of acne.

Can Eating Seeds Cause Acne?

Although widely debated, nutrition plays a wide role in the health of your skin, hair, and nails. Studies have shown that having a deficiency in vitamin A can cause the skin to be completely dry, nails to be brittle, and the skin barrier to be disrupted. Deficiencies in other vitamins and nutrients can also contribute to poor skin health. For example, deficiencies in vitamin D can cause the skin to be flaky and red. Increasing vitamin D has been used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis. By orally consuming these types of vitamins, it shows that they can influence the metabolism and hydration of the skin. Therefore, there is very likely to be a link between nutrient consumption and acne as well as other skin conditions. 

Is Flaxseed Good For Dry Skin?

Studies have shown that the content of skin can be modified by the addition of fatty acids in the diet. The skin barrier is made up of many fatty acids that work to protect the skin from environmental stressors. The presence of fatty acids in flaxseeds can improve the overall health of the skin. In one 12 week study, oral consumption of flaxseeds contributed to a decrease in water loss of the skin and an increase in hydration. Even skin scaling and texture was smoothed, which suggests that flaxseeds have beneficial effects on dry skin conditions. 

In general, one of the many reasons people experience dry skin involves a damaged skin barrier. The barrier is made up of lipids and other substances that protect the skin from oxidative stressors, pollution, and harsh or abrasive skin care products. When the Skin barrier is damaged, for example, from harsh cleansers, the skin is unable to fight against bacteria and other types of pollution. Flaxseeds high content of fatty acids can help to restore the skin’s barrier and therefore, prevent the formation of acne and other inflammatory skin diseases.

Do Flaxseeds Mess With Your Hormones?

 Picture of whole and ground flaxseeds

Due to flax seeds having a high content alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, it has beneficial effects on adipose tissue. Adipose tissue is made up of fat cells. This tissue regulates many processes within the body, such as metabolism and fatty acid content and tissue function. It also releases substances known as adipokines like leptin. This is a hormone that functions as an appetite suppressant and plays an important role in metabolism. When consumed, flaxseeds decrease leptin levels. Increased levels of leptin have been shown to play a role in heart diseases. Therefore, flaxseed may modulate hormone levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. 

What Are The Side Effects of Flaxseeds?

Lignans are naturally occurring hormones found in plants. It has antioxidant properties. Flaxseeds contain lignans and these provide anti-inflammatory effects, reduction in cardiovascular disease risk and even prevention of cancer. Its cardioprotective effects make it a great addition to the diet. 

In one study, flaxseeds were given to a group of women. Skin changes were observed. These changes included a decrease in redness and skin irritation. 

Another study suggests that oral consumption of flaxseed reduces high blood pressure. This was shown in people already experiencing symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Flaxseeds have also reduced blood-glucose levels in diabetes patients. 

The downsides of flaxseeds is that its flavour profile may not be suitable for some individuals. In addition, due to its high content of linolenic acid, it is susceptible to oxidation and rancidity from its omega-3 fatty acid profile. However many companies have successfully stabilized flaxseeds and have incorporated them into a variety of food options. 

The benefits greatly outweigh the negatives. Flaxseeds can be used for its cardioprotective effects, increase skin hydration, and support the skin barrier.

References

The relationship of diet and acne – PMC (nih.gov)

Supplementation of flaxseed oil diminishes skin sensitivity and improves skin barrier function and condition – PubMed (nih.gov)

Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food – PMC (nih.gov)

 

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