Gold-coloured flax oil is extracted from whole flax seeds, using presses specially developed for extracting oils from plants. You can buy flax oil in bottles, in gel capsules or as a blend with other oils. Flax oil requires careful handling: its high alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA) content makes it susceptible to deterioration and spoilage. Thus, keep flax oil cool and dark, ideally, in the refrigerator. Flax oil products typically cost more than either whole flax seeds or flax seed meal. While flax oil is an excellent source of ALA, it contains no lignans. The lignans have been stripped away with the seed.
Flax Oil. Bottled flax oil, purchased from health food stores or through the Internet, can be taken by the spoonful as a dietary supplement. It can also be used as your main oil in salad dressings, or on baked potatoes or other foods, instead of butter or margarine. Similarly, flax oil can be added to rice or vegetable dishes as a taste or texture enhancer.
Gel Capsules. Gel capsules of flax oil can be taken as dietary supplements.
Where to Buy
Flax oil and capsules are sold in the health food sections of major supermarkets and pharmacies, in health food stores or through the Internet (Flax Council of Canada, Food Products List).
How to Store
Generally, flax oil products should be kept cool and dark, making the refrigerator or freezer a good storage location. Follow the food manufacturers’ package recommendations when storing flax oil products.