Flax Seed Oil

Flaxseed oil can be a valuable addition to your daily diet, providing essential omega-3 fatty acids and promoting overall health. While the general recommended dosage is one to two tablespoons per day, individual factors such as diet, health conditions, and medications must be considered. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure that flaxseed oil is safe and beneficial for your specific needs. With proper care and attention, flaxseed oil can be a wonderful complement to your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

How Much Flax Seed Oil Should I Use Per Day?

Take 1,1100 mg of flaxseed oil for women and 1,600 mg for men per day.
Image Credit: yokeetod/iStock/GettyImages

There’s a lot of conflicting nutrition advice out there, but one thing most experts can agree on is that flaxseed oil has some pretty remarkable health benefits. But even though you may be well aware of that, you might still be looking for the right flaxseed oil dosage to reap those benefits.

The short answer is that there are no hard rules about how much flaxseed oil you should use each day. However, there are recommendations on the proper daily dose of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA — the type of omega-3 fatty acid that’s found in flaxseed oil. To get the most out of your diet, it’s a good idea to consume about 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil or one to three flaxseed oil capsules along with several other omega-3-rich foods each day.


Many studies on ALA, the main beneficial compound in flaxseed oil, use 600 milligrams per day. However, the current recommendation for daily ALA intake is 1,100 milligrams for women and 1,600 milligrams for men. Since 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil provides 730 to 1,095 usable grams of ALA, that’s about all you need each day, as long as you’re eating other omega-3-rich foods too.

ALA Benefits of Flaxseed Oil

The main bioactive compounds in flaxseed oil are ALA and lignans. In fact, flaxseed is one of the richest plant sources of both of these beneficial compounds. Whole flaxseeds consist of about 22 percent ALA, but when those seeds are turned into flaxseed oil, that percentage jumps to 50 to 62 percent. And it’s the ALA in flaxseed oil that’s responsible for many of the health benefits associated with it.

Chronic inflammation is connected to many serious health problems, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. One of ALA’s major claims to fame is its anti-inflammatory properties. In one meta-analysis that was published in Nutrition & Metabolism in June 2018, researchers looked at several studies on how supplementation with ALA affected inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome.

They found that ALA could help reduce interleukin-6 (or IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (or TNF-α), two inflammatory cytokines — signaling molecules that are sent out by your immune system to promote inflammation. In the same review, researchers noted that ALA also reduced C-reactive protein (or CRP), a protein that’s produced and released by your liver in response to high levels of inflammation.

Researchers from another review that was published in the journal Nutrients in March 2016 looked at flaxseed and flaxseed oil specifically and found that this inflammation-lowering effect appeared to be even more significant in people who have obesity.

These studies varied from two weeks to 12 months and the dosage of ALA supplements ranged from 300 to 600 milligrams per day, although 600 milligrams was the most commonly used.

A study that was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2018 added to this, stating that while supplementation with flaxseed oil increased blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) stayed the same.

Because of this, you shouldn’t rely solely on flaxseed oil as an omega-3 supplement. That’s because it’s important to get the other two omega-3 fatty acids — EPA and DHA — too.

Choosing a Flaxseed Oil Supplement

You have a couple of options when it comes to how you incorporate flaxseed oil into your day. You can take flaxseed oil capsules, which often provide 1,000 to 1,400 milligrams of flaxseed oil (and 500 to 700 milligrams of ALA) per capsule. Generally, the recommended dosage is between one and three capsules per day.

You can also forgo the supplement and include flaxseed oil in your diet directly, by drizzling it on top of salads, adding it to smoothies or yogurt, or stirring it into vegetable soups before you eat them. Two teaspoons to 1 tablespoon per day is enough for most people.

You can meet your remaining ALA needs, and your needs for EPA and DHA, by combing flaxseed oil or a flaxseed oil supplement with other omega-3 rich foods. Choose from:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts

Keep in mind that since flaxseed oil is high in fat, it can oxidize and go rancid quickly. To increase its shelf-life, it’s a good idea to store it in the refrigerator or in another cool, dark place, like a pantry, instead of right next to the stove.

While you can add flaxseed oil to your food dishes after cooking, you should also avoid cooking flaxseed oil directly. Since it has a low smoke point, heating it can break down the fatty acids and create free radicals, potentially harmful substances, in the process.

A Word of Caution

Flaxseed oil has lots of potential health benefits, but that doesn’t mean that flaxseed oil supplements or a high flaxseed oil dosage is a good idea for everyone. The Mayo Clinic points out that flaxseed oil has the potential to decrease blood clotting. If you’re taking blood-thinning medications, like anti-coagulants or anti-platelet medications, the combo effect could increase the risk of uncontrollable bleeding.

Because of this, it’s also a good idea to avoid taking flaxseed oil at least two weeks before any type of surgery. And make sure you let your surgeon or doctor know if you’re taking it too.

Flaxseed oil can also lower blood pressure. While this may seem like a good thing, especially for those with high blood pressure, it can create a problem when taken with blood pressure-lowering medications or other supplements or herbs that lower blood pressure. Other contraindications for flaxseed oil include:

  • Diabetes drugs: Flaxseed oil can lower blood sugar and, when combined with insulin or other blood sugar-lowering medications, this can result in dangerously low blood sugar.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Oral contraceptives/estrogen replacement therapy: Because of its anti-estrogen effect, flaxseed oil may reduce the effectiveness of birth control and interfere with hormones.

The Mayo Clinic also notes that flaxseed oil may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb any oral medications in general. Because of this, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding flaxseed oil to your daily diet.