In this article, we first explain why to combat constipation flax oil has been suggested by many authors and websites. There is indeed a logic behind it, we will cover it further down.
By following the same logic, we will provide a much better alternative. We will see that flax oil is not stable and can oxidize very rapidly. Rancid fats are toxic to your health. So why take the risk?
Flax oil is a lipid, and as such provokes a strong gallbladder response.
Bile helps us digest fats. Bile is like a soap, it emulsifies the fats we ingest, increasing their surface contact to enable our enzymes (lipases in this case) to work more efficiently.
So whenever flax oil enter the duodenum, the gallbladder releases a significant amount of bile, particularly when taken on an empty stomach. But bile is also our natural laxative. It adds moisture to the stools, and is slightly irritant to the colon mucosa, bringing back function to the area.
So the usual constipation flax oil indication makes sense: typically one, two or three teaspoons everyday upon waking and before breakfast.
To get rid of constipation flax seed oil may work. But flax oil is very unstable and can oxidize very rapidly. A large portion of flax oil is indeed made up of very fragile polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The following will make flax oil go rancid within a few days or even hours after opening the bottle:
Flax seed oil is one of the fastest oil to become rancid, and rancid fats are toxic to your health.
It is very fragile and gets partly oxidized in the fabrication chain, even when carefully kept in a dark-glass bottle and kept refrigerated. There is always a weak link in the supply chain.
In my experience, it is hard to find a flaxseed oil that smells and tastes the way it should upon opening the bottle. Sure you can eventually find a flax seed oil that has been manufactured using state of the art facilities and is still stable when you buy it.
But why take the risk when there is a great alternative?
As an interesting note and food for thought: even chicken breast becomes unstable when the animal has been fed flaxseed(1). I quote from the aforementioned study: "Susceptibility to oxidation increased in both breast and thigh broiler meat with the duration of feeding flaxseed".
Olive oil is more affordable, and very stable because it is mostly made of mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
See the following article: Olive oil for constipation: gentle, safe and nutritive
We have seen in this short article that to fight constipation flax seed oil may work. But it is very unstable and will start to turn rancid within hours of opening the bottle, if it is not partly oxidized already when you buy it due to a sub-optimal supply chain.
The alternative is stable, elegant, great tasting and affordable: olive oil! So why take the risk and ingest rancid fats that are toxic to your health?
(1) Betti M, Schneider BL, Wismer WV, Carney VL, Zuidhof MJ, Renema RA. "Omega-3-enriched broiler meat: 2. Functional properties, oxidative stability, and consumer acceptance". Poult Sci. 2009 May;88(5):1085-95.