John Bagnulo MPH, PhD. - Director of Nutrition 11/6

One question we are routinely asked here at Functional Formularies is, "Why do you use organic, cold-pressed flax oil in your products?" There are a few reasons and we thought it would be good to address these in a way that can help our customers understand who we are and why we do some of the things we do.

First, all of us need what are referred to as essential fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fats required to produce very specific hormones. Most vegetable oils are very rich in omega 6 fatty acids and very poor sources of omega 3 fatty acids. The imbalance promotes inflammation and a greater inflammatory response in most situations. In addition, most seed and/or vegetable oils are processed with hexane, a petroleum derivative or solvent that helps separate more oil from the seed. Unfortunately hexane residues remain in most commercially produced oils (such as corn, soybean, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils).

The only other plant oils that are potential sources of omega 3 fatty acids and that are available in the quantity we need are canola oil and soybean oil. Canola oil has an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 3:1 and soybean oil 8:1, we prefer flax oil’s ratio of 1:3.5. This tips the individual’s system in favor of anti-inflammatory processes as opposed to the inflammatory ones, often desperately needed when in a critical situation.

We investigated the use of other omega 3 fatty acid-rich oils such as fish oil, but they are not ideal. There is too much oxidation in the processing of a complex formula such as ours for a healthy end-product. Fish oil reacts rapidly with other ingredients and specific nutrients to create potentially harmful lipid peroxides. Flax oil, because it is only mechanically pressed, contains protective substances that prevent such lipid peroxidation.

These attributes, plus the fact that a significant number of studies show excellent results when flax oil is added to a populations diet or when it is used to replace a more omega 6 rich oil:

In summary, we feel that organic, cold-pressed flax oil is the best match for your health and the Planet’s. We will continue to strive for the optimal ingredients that help our patients meet their nutrition needs without sacrificing quality or our commitment to making this World a better place.