When untainted and unadulterated by the food industry, flax seed oil seems to have virtually countless miraculous health-generating properties, which are falsely believed to stem from the oil's omega-3 content. Technically, flax seeds and flax seed oil do not contain omega-3's. They instead contain alpha-linolenic acid, which a body's enzymes use as a raw material to synthesize its own EPA and DHA (omega-3 oils) in exactly the amounts needed to balance the inflammatory omega-6 and 9 oils that are so common in our diets. These facts make flax seed oil superior to fish oil supplements for getting both the exact amount of needed omega-3's, and for getting absolutely pure omega-3's into the body. For these reasons, we have always recommended that only flax seed oil be used for omega-3 supplementation. It may be the most important supplement that a person can take, with it racing closely against vitamin C. It literally is a cure for cancer and it substantially fights heart disease and other inflammatory disorders.
The polyunsaturated fats include vegetable oils such as soy, corn, safflower, canola, sesame seed, sunflower, and flax seed oil. Unfortunately, they all produce an undesirable repercussion when they are used for cooking, due to the fact that they are easily altered with exposure to light, heat, or oxygen. They quickly become rancid and carcinogenic.
Flax seed oil is especially sensitive. Supplemental flax seed oil is usually stored in dark bottles and refrigerated for this reason. If exposed to heat, light, or oxygen, then the oil can quickly become rancid. Polyunsaturated oils become trans fats and worse through break-down. Flax seed oil may develop a profuse odor, and it can become toxic to the point of becoming a carcinogen. The odor is caused by rancidity. It is the reason why dangerous fish oil supplements smell so terrible. That smell is usually much more than just the smell of the fish, and fish oil is usually extremely rancid from the extra processing that is required. Highly-processed fish oil is precisely the omega-3 supplement that is prescribed by the medical establishment, and it is certainly good for business. The rancid trans fats that are produced with shoddy or over-processed oils actually neutralize the useful omega-3 that is already in the body, so the consumption of them is like taking an anti-omega-3 supplement.
"...I investigated the high temperature treatment for fish oils, for the purpose of making them keep longer, and killing their fishy taste. I came to the conclusion that these oils do great harm to the entire internal glandular system, as well as to the liver and other organs and are therefore not suitable for human consumption."
-- Dr. Johanna Budwig, Flax Oil as a True Aid Against Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases
Flax seed oil has become famous for fostering improved health, so the food industry is offering a plethora of flax seed based foods. There are a variety of food items such as cereals that are marketed for having health benefits, due to the inclusion of baked flax seeds. Remember what heat does? Surely these companies must know what they are doing to people, for these food empires have huge R&D departments.
What is even more incredible is that some products have whole flax seeds, such as granola bars. Whole flax seeds are extremely difficult to digest, unless they are first ground. This must be done just prior to consumption, in order to avoid rancidity. Whole seeds just pass without any digestion, which merely burdens the digestive system, instead of providing health benefits. The destroyed omega precursors neutralize iodine too. In the final insult, they always bake the included flax seeds to ensure that the useful compounds are destroyed.
Once again, the food industry has found a way to toxify an otherwise healthy food, and then it tricks customers who are concerned about their health into consuming it. This is even happening in health food stores.
We recommend that omega-3 supplements be consumed in the form of individual, light-resistant capsules to protect the oil from heat, light, and oxygen. It should also be cold pressed. Buy it and all other supplements from health food and herbal retailers, unless you are shopping by way of the Internet. The products found in regular retailers have serious quality control and potency issues. Especially avoid U.S.P. supplements, which are made by, and approved by the pharmaceutical industry. For best results, combine the flax seed oil with a source of sulfur proteins, such as goat cheese, or unhomogenized yogurt.