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pegm
Thu, May-09-02, 12:36
I was looking up info about herbs for a friend on the internet and one site listed flax seed was one of the 'herbs'. The site stated that you can overdose on flax seed, it has a compound with cyanide-like qualities, and it can cause respiratory arrest if you eat too much. Unfortunately, the site did not state how much was too much! I just started eating 1/4 cup of ground flax per day for breakfast this week, and now I'm concerned about overdosing if I eat 1/4 cup per day.

Has anyone else heard of this? Does anyone know how much is too much flax seed?

Cinderella
Thu, May-09-02, 13:04
Gawd I hope not because I'm eating 9 tablespoons at breaky time. :cry:

Ava
Fri, May-10-02, 01:37
Originally posted by pegm
I was looking up info about herbs for a friend on the internet and one site listed flax seed was one of the 'herbs'. The site stated that you can overdose on flax seed, it has a compound with cyanide-like qualities, and it can cause respiratory arrest if you eat too much. Unfortunately, the site did not state how much was too much!Peg, it would really help if you posted the site's address as we would like to go see for ourselves exactly what it says.

pegm
Fri, May-10-02, 07:09
The site iw www.egregore.com. I clicked on 'Herbs' from the menu, then 'F' from the alphabetical list, sselected Flax Seed, 'Warnings', and read the 'Caution' note. It says that 'large quantities' cause problems, but did not state what a 'large quantity' is. However, the site listed 1 to 2 tablespoons as a normal dose, so is 1/4 cup a 'large quantity'? I wish they were more specific.

doreen T
Fri, May-10-02, 08:15
Flax contains a cyanogenic glycoside which, under certain conditions, can release cyanide. One of these conditions is an extremely acidic environment, pH below 1. While hydrochloric acid secreted by cells in the stomach does have a pH of 1, the presence of pepsin and other digestive enzymes raises the pH of the normal empty stomach to 3. The presence of food and water in the stomach will raise the pH even further. The function of the stomach is to mix and churn incoming food with HCl acid and stomach juices to begin the break-down and liquefying process. Absorption of anything in the food doesn't take place until it enters the small intestine. The normal pH of the duodenum is alkaline, pH 8 .. to neutralize the acid from the stomach. It is unlikely that the cyanogenic glycoside in flax seeds will release significant amounts of cyanide in the human digestive tract. :)

Other foods that naturally contain cyanogenic glycosides include:almonds
cherries, peaches, apricots
seeded grapes
cassava
sorghum
corn
alfalfa
apples, pears
beans
coffeeWhile the glycosides are most concentrated in the seed, leaves and root of the plants, it is present to some degree in the flesh of the fruits as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On the other hand ...

Cyanide gas does not require further processing in the body. It's already toxic, and enters the bloodstream rapidly when inhaled into the lungs. Common sources of cyanide gas include industrial waste spewing into our air, gases given off from the hot asphalt of city streets, and the burning end of a cigarette. There is more hydrogen cyanide in the second-hand smoke from ONE cigarette than the potential cyanide that could be yielded from the cyanogenic glycoside in a typical serving of flax. :exclm:

Doreen

pegm
Fri, May-10-02, 10:41
Doreen,

Thanks so much for the info! It's so comforting to have such knowledgeable people we can turn to for answers. I can continue to eat my flax knowing that it's safe.

jesdorka
Fri, May-10-02, 10:51
for the excellent reply doreen, as a flax seed eater this calms the fears that such a warning brings.

Ava
Sun, May-12-02, 17:38
Doreen, I once read that "Linoleum" was Latin for "Flax Seed Oil." Are the two related by chance?

doreen T
Sun, May-12-02, 22:54
Doreen, I once read that "Linoleum" was Latin for "Flax Seed Oil." Are the two related by chance?It sure is and they sure are. As you well know. ;)

Boiled and oxidized linseed oil has many industrial uses. For linoleum, it's blended with tree resins, cork, wood pulp and etc ..

Many food oils and fats are also used in industry and cosmetics, and have been used thus for centuries. For example, animal fats have been blended with potash and lye to make soap, or boiled and rendered to make tallow for candles. Castille soap is made from olive oil. Etc, etc ...

Industrial linseed oil is a highly refined, processed product, intentionally treated with high heat and rolled in thin layers to expose to as much oxygen as possible, in order to develop its sealant properties. It bears little resemblance to fresh expeller-pressed nutritional flax oil that's carefully bottled in the absence of air and light. :)

Doreen

p.s. - How's that chocolate tooth of yours doing?

Bloom
Mon, May-13-02, 02:23
Doreen you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge :thup: Im not being sarcastic but how is it you know the answer to everything :p are you the mantis genuis genuis or what :q: :daze:

doreen T
Mon, May-13-02, 09:32
Originally posted by Bloom
Doreen you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge :thup: Im not being sarcastic but how is it you know the answer to everything :p are you the mantis genuis genuis or what :q: :daze: Hardly! :daze:

It's often a case that I don't know the exact answer, but I know where to look to find it. Knowing how to use a search engine effectively helps too.

And ... some things I just happen to know ;) For instance ... linoleum is no secret what it's made of. Some years ago when I owned my own house, I wanted to redo the kitchen and bath, and considered linoleum flooring over vinyl .. because linoleum is biodegradable, and more environmentally friendly. I took the easy way out and sold the house instead :p

When I was a kid in school, we made soap and candles out of tallow and blobs of fat, to learn how the pioneers lived way back when. Did it ever stink, yuk!!! And I do oil painting, so I know the properties of oxidized linseed oil.

Doreen

Bloom
Mon, May-13-02, 15:15
Hardly! :daze:

:lol: I think your just being modest :o :D

I have made soup myself a few times with tallow and caustic soda. Its fun :p
and my hubby paints boiled Linseed on his oilskin coat at the start of every winter. It stinks!

Ava
Tue, May-14-02, 23:46
Originally posted by Bloom
I have made soup myself a few times with tallow and caustic soda. Its funFun but hard to digest. You must have a tough stomach! What did you use as crackers? Little bits of linoleum?

Bloom
Wed, May-15-02, 01:00
What did you use as crackers? Little bits of linoleum?
:lol: you caught me out with the 'soup' :p but hey We just had our old stuff replaced last week so dont tempt me. I love linseed:yum:
:lol: