T Nation

Milled Flax Seeds and Phytoestrogens?


So I was checking out some of these "cold-milled flax seeds" and on the side of the container it said they contain "phytoestrogens". I was a little surprised that this would be a selling point, but whatever. I decided to do some research first, including asking the internets.

So has anybody here had good or bad experiences with milled flax seeds?
If you use them and you're a guy, have you noticed any vagina growth since you started?


The internets says it's good for you. Oh and it also says that you should wash your vagina, it's dirty.


My physician recommended I not take flax seed oil because of the phytoestrogens.


Yes, I do not recommend to my teammates flax oils and the like. There are equal or better oils out there. Flax has been studied to lower the pain associated in menopausal women. Due to it is a phytoestrogen and mimics estrogen in the body (already stated).


Damn we need more info on that I take 25-30g per day of milled flax seed + 10g in oil pills...
So basically it means that...oops sorry brb gotta change my tampon.


Flax is considered the best food source of Alpha-linolenic acid. Traditionally flax was used to treat GI problems that included constipation. Flax lignans are phytoestrogens that may help reduce the symptoms of menopause in women. In a study where 40 grams of crushed flaxseed ingested orally once daily was as effective as hormonal replacement therapy for reducing acute symptoms of menopause. However, some studies have been inconclusive, more research is needed.

Recommended intake: Flax seed oil (liquid): 15mL, Flaxseed oil (capsule): ONE capsule (1,000mg) once daily, Flax seed (ground): 5-25g per day
Contradictions/interactions of Flax:
-Flax may delay the absorption of some drugs if taken two hours before and after the use of medications.
-Large amounts (>30 grams of 32% Alpha-linolenic acid oil daily or more for 3 months) may increase bleeding times in people.
-Caution should be used in people using anticoagulant medications.
-Glucose absorption in diabetics may be delayed with the use of flax.

This is my research on it


I don't remember where I read this article (it was from this site). On one side milled flax seed can be beneficial as it competes with environmental xenoestrogens for receptors, minimizing effects. On the other side, too much of it could actually triger the effects from phytoestrogens.

As a conclussion the article regarded it as a very nice food if limited to two tbsp a day. Other then that, I like its fiber content and fat profile.


I didn't know that flax seeds contained phytoestrogens. Interesting stuff. If anyone else has anything else to say about the seeds, please do so because I eat a 1/4 cup a day of the stuff.


I believe this is the article:

It's a little old, which is why I was wondering whether there were any recent developments.

I was considering switching to the milled flax seeds over psyllium on account of it's pretty much the same fiber content, but with omega 3s too, so I wasn't planning on eating a bucket of them every day, more like a tablespoon or two.


I think I'm gonna drop the flax seeds from 2 helpings of 1/8th of a cup to 2 helpings of 1 tablespoon. There's still benefit, and plus now I can add in something else like another healthy fat.


mighty interesting...


Perhaps by you and by authors you have read, but that doesn't make it a fact.

By what strained reasoning would you consider flax to be superior to chia?


Yes, the work above I referenced from various sources. I should have put "Flax is considered one of many foods that have a rich source on Alpha-linolenic acid". More so, I didn't search for other Alpha-linolenic acid containing foods to prove that statement true or not. I was still "fresh" at writing research papers.


No problem! :slightly_smiling:

It actually can be tricky and is a learned knack to word things so as to not accidentally overstate things such as how widely something may be thought to be true.


But glad you pointed that out tho :slightly_smiling: I haven't written a paper in a while but soon will start again in next semester's work. I will take what I just learned from you into consideration.


I've been using chia for a little while due to its excellent nutritional properties and lack of known drawbacks, but with regards to that second factor I wonder how much is due to the relative lack of study of chia. Have you seen anything positively affirming that chia seeds lack significant quantities of lignans or isoflavones?


No. On the other hand, I've never seen anything affirming that of radishes, turnip greens, cauliflower, or macadamia nuts.

I did do a quick search on Pubmed and Google Scholar and came up with nothing.

Chia was once a staple food for the Mayans, so it is unlikely that it is unhealthful even in large quantity.

On the fear of lignans and phytoestrogens: Many lignans are helpful. Some phytoestrogens are helpful and are not estrogenic. (It is not required to be estrogenic for a compound to be in that category.)

I wasn't addressing that matter at all, actually, just the specific statement that I did address.

On whether flax is problematic in this regard, Dan Duchaine used to recommend flax seed oil for the gyno-sensitive precisely because of the lignans, and some liked his recommendation. I never heard of anyone trying it and saying he had it backwards.

(I'm not referring to gyno protection while using anabolic steroids, but for those who are bothered by it under normal conditions, and where a marginal difference might be noticeable.)


Chia hmm never heard of it, I'll look into it on the internet...and at the health food store.


@Bill - I believe Chia was actually cultivated by the Aztecs, not the Mayans. But on the nutritional aspects of Chia and Flax, you are spot on.

Chia and Flax are pretty much the same from a nutritional standpoint. One difference, besides the obvious price differential (flax $1.29/lb; chia $11.00/lb), is that you have to grind flaxseeds because they have a hard coat and you'll crap them right out; chia seeds don't have this problem. The biggest difference from a nutritional standpoint is that that flaxseeds have lignans, which have been found to have multiple health benefits, including anti-cancer activity.

The best way to get lignans is the unfiltered/lignan fortified kind of flax oil. I think Barleans is the brand I use. Also, cold milled sprouted flaw seeds are pretty good, but I have a hard time digesting them as well, so I stick with the oil. But still take your fish oil for omega 3's because the omega 3's in flax is not the same as those in fish oil.

PS They have chia all over the internets, as well as at whole foods.


So then I guess it's time to start eating me some milled flax seeds then.