This is something you would want to discuss in greater detail with your doctor. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database states:
Flaxseed contains lignans with mild estrogenic and possible antiestrogenic effects. The lignans seem to compete with circulating endogenous estrogen and might reduce estrogen binding to estrogen receptors, resulting in an anti-estrogen effect. Theoretically, taking flaxseed might decrease effects of exogenously administered estrogens including oral contraceptive drugs and estrogen replacement therapy. More research is needed.
Fitness Minutes: (44)
1,197 5/5/11 11:56 A
Oh, one thing - if you are taking any supplement, or food as a supplement, you should do it on the other cycle of your meds.
I take morning supplements, and take my thyorid and birth control just before bed. This is true for any supplement, including vitiams, and any meds unless otherwise guided by a doctor. Just cause vitamins and supplements and fiber have things that can interfere with the up take of meds.
Fitness Minutes: (44)
1,197 5/5/11 11:53 A
Janey, you are fine.
I wish the media who posted things like this, were more responsible.
The amounts involved in this study are no where near the levels you are eating. If you enjoy flax, keep it up. If you don't, you can discard it.
Similar findings have been "reported" for soy products, and other phytosterols. But the amount necessary to effect your body is pretty high.
Thanks for the info! I'll hold off until I can talk to my doctor. I was just taking (eating, I should say) a tablespoon per day mixed into food but better safe than sorry, at least til I can talk to the doctor.
Fitness Minutes: (3,217)
272 5/5/11 11:17 A
I use flaxseed in gluten free products, and as addition to meals, not as a supplement capsule. I use fish oil capsules a few times a week when I don't eat fish. I also take a monophasic BCP to prevent migraines that I get with the alternating dose pills like "tri-cyclen" type pills. All things in moderation is always the best bet.
Talk to your OB/GYN. I'm guessing that the interaction only happens with low-dose birth control and high doses of flax, but you should definitely ask, and discuss diet in general. Lots of plant foods act like estrogen, including soy and other beans, but birth control pills are formulated to deal with that at normal levels. It's when people start taking extracts and concentrates that you start running into problems. Eating a few flaxseeds scattered on your oatmeal is almost certainly safe, but taking half a cup a day might not be. The fact that you said "taking" instead of "eating" is a little cause for concern, and something your doctor needs to discuss with you.
The take-away here is to make sure your doctors know about EVERYTHING you're taking, including "natural" or "herbal" supplements.
"Flaxseed can act like the female hormone estrogen. It can compete with estrogens that are included in birth control pills and hormone replacement treatments. Healthcare providers are concerned that flaxseed might make these estrogen-containing drugs less effective."
Holy moly! I didn't know about this. I am not going to take any more after reading this. Does anyone here avoid flaxseed for this reason? Also, can anyone recommend an alternative to flaxseed? I was taking it for the oil and fiber in it.
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