Flaxseed Oil Benefits

Flaxseed oil

Our Flaxseed Oil range of products contain human food grade, cold pressed flaxseed oil. It is UK grown and harvested at DEFRA approved/Red Tractor Assured farms. It is 100% traceable and pesticide/chemical free.

What is flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed oil is pressed out of the flax seed itself. There are different methods of extraction, the most effective is ‘cold pressing’ as this method helps to retain the freshness of the oil; cold pressing involves little or no heating and so keeps the oil in its most natural and fresh state.

Flaxseed oil is polyunsaturated and classed as a ‘good fat’. It is a rich, natural and balanced source of omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids (EFA’s). EFA’s are beneficial for the body to perform key biological functions. Animals (humans and dogs) are unable to produce EFA’s themselves so it is essential (hence the name essential fatty acids!) to add these types of fats to the diet to maintain overall good health of the heart, digestive & reproductive system, to keep skin, nails and hair (fur) healthy, to aid mobility & circulation and help to balance metabolism and reduce inflammation. 

Flaxseed oil consists of ‘short chain’ EFA’s; ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid - Omega 3) and LA (Linoleic Acid - Omega 6). These types of EFA’s are different to fish oils which consist of ‘long chain’ EFA’s and contain readily available sources of EPA and DHA. Both Omega 3 & 6 in the form of ALA and LA are necessary for dogs to maintain good health, indeed research now shows that LA is a very important fatty acid chain for dogs. The correct balance of ALA and LA is also important as are vitamin B6, B7, copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron as these vitamins and minerals help with effective absorption of flaxseed oil. Therefore, a varied healthy, fresh diet is advocated in order to get the very best out of flaxseed oil.

As a guide, a ratio of 4 parts Omega 3 to 1 part Omega 6 is the recommended ratio for effective absorption and optimal health benefits. Our flaxseed oil has 60% Omega 3 and 16% Omega 6 so is almost a perfect ratio.

When oils are added to dried dog food in the manufacturing process they become oxidised due to being heated and thus provide no real nutritional value. Oils that are added to home cooked foods have the same fate as do any manufactured complete foods that are prepared and then frozen as they lose their EFA’s through the thawing process because they have been subject to light and air. Oils such as flaxseed oil need to be eaten in their fresh state to get the best out of them. 

It has also been found that flaxseed oil on its own can oxidise and go rancid, but at Proflax this isn't a concern as our proprietary herbal blends mean that the combination of flaxseed oil and herbs provide you with a range of oils that will stay fresh for longer. We validate this with regular testing at a UK independent DEFRA approved laboratory

Flaxseed oil contains little or no lignans which are present in the flaxseed itself. Lignans contain phytoestrogens which are hormones and although flaxseed oil contains very few of these hormones, it is not recommended that pregnant or nursing dogs take any flaxseed oil supplement.

A bit more information on the importance of EFA's 

EFAs are fat carried nutrients that every mammal needs to maintain healthy function and structure of smooth muscle organs (heart, reproductive system), for healthy liver cells and to maintain healthy skin, coat and build strong joint tissues. They have also been linked to retinal development and are responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandins - chemicals that serve as mediators of various psychological processes in the body. Prostaglandins act upon smooth muscle contractions of the heart and digestive tract, the initiation and regulation of inflammatory responses and inhibit excessive clotting of the blood.

An EFA enriched diet will support a shinier, softer coat, less shedding, healthier skin and fewer fleas. With this in mind, it is easier to understand that EFA’s should be regarded as a necessity in any animals diet.

For more information on the nutritional content of our flax oil click here.