Yes, flax seed works excellent for people suffering from constipation. The fiber in flaxseed binds with water, swelling to form a gel which, like other forms of fiber, helps soften the stool and move it along in the intestines. Only flax seed helps not the flax seed oil. Flax seed can also help with chronic constipation in irritable bowel disease. Germany’s Commission E authorizes the use of flax seed for various digestive problems, such as chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and general stomach discomfort.
Effects of flax fiber on laxation and glycemic response in healthy volunteers.
Dahl WJ, Lockert EA, Cammer AL, Whiting SJ.
J Med Food 2005 Winter;8(4):508-11.
We investigated whether a flax supplement taken orally or baked in a bakery product would effect the physiological responses characteristic of soluble and insoluble fiber, i.e., laxation and glycemic response, respectively. In Study 1, 26 healthy young adults consumed up to 15 g of fiber from a proprietary flax fiber supplement or as a psyllium supplement for 2 weeks once usual fecal weights were established. Changes in dietary fiber intake and acceptability of both products were evaluated. An increase in fecal weight was found with both fiber treatments. Supplemental fiber at intakes of 9.0 g/day (flax) and 10.4 g/day (psyllium) gave fecal bulking capacity of about 2.9 and 4.8 g of fecal weight/g of fiber, respectively. In Study 2, the effect of flax bread versus control white bread on glycemic response was studied. Eleven fasting subjects completed four test periods (duplicate trials of each bread) under standardized glycemic testing conditions. Paired t tests were used to analyze test compared with control peak blood glucose values (6.6 +/- 0.9 mmol/L compared with 6.9 +/- 0.7 mmol/L, P < .05, respectively) and area under the curve (AUC) (669 +/- 53 compared with 693 +/- 57, P = .015, respectively). Peak blood glucose values and AUC were improved by ingestion of flax fiber in healthy subjects. In conclusion, a flax fiber supplement provides the benefits of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Nutritional attributes of traditional flaxseed in healthy young adults
Cunnane, S.; Hamadeh, M.; Liede, A.; Thompson, L.; Wolever, T.; and Jenkins, D. Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1995 61:62-68.
The objective was to determine the influence of consuming 50 g flaxseed/dfor 4 wk on several indexes of nutrition in young healthy adults. Duringflaxseed consumption, alpha-linolenate was increased significantly in adipose tissue, and n-3 polyunsaturates were increased in plasma lipids.Plasma LDL cholesterol was also reduced by up to 8%, and total urinarylignan excretion was increased more than fivefold (P < 0.05). Muffins containing 25 g flaxseed did not differ significantly from control muffins in their content of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, andalpha-linolenate in the muffins was not significantly reduced by baking.Antioxidant vitamins and lipid hydroperoxides in plasma were notsignificantly affected by flaxseed consumption. Bowel movements per weekincreased by 30% while flaxseed was consumed (P < 0.05). We concludethat traditional flaxseed has modest beneficial effects on several indexes of nutritional status without compromising antioxidant status.
Efficacy of ground flaxseed on constipation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
Tarpila, S.; Tarpila, A.; Gr..hn, T.; Silvennonoinen, T.; and Lindberg, L. Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research 2004 2:119-125.
ABSTRACT: We studied in an investigator-blinded trial the efficacy of roughly ground partly defatted flaxseed on constipation in 55 patients suffering from constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Fifty-five patients were randomised to receive 6-24 g/d either flaxseed or psyllium for 3 months. During the blinded treatment period 26 patients received flaxseed and 29 received psyllium. In flaxseed group, constipation and abdominal symptoms were decreased significantly (p=0.002) whereas in psyllium group the reduction was not statistically significant. After the blinded treatment period, the difference between groups was statistically significant in constipation (p=0.05) and in bloating and pain (p=0.001). Forty patients continued to the open period with flaxseed treatment only, 18 from flaxseed group and 22 from psyllium group. After the open period of 3 months, constipation and abdominal symptoms were further significantly reduced (p=0.001). Safety laboratory values were unchanged with exception of serum thiocyanate that increased from 40.9 to 153.7 mmol/l in flaxseed group. After additional 3 months treatment with flaxseed this value was decreased to 104 mmol/l. Blood cadmium was normal (3.4 nmol/l) after six months flaxseed treatment.