flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, flaxseed save nails

Many people assume that ugly nails indicate a fungal infection of the nail bed. While this is frequently a reasonable conclusion, psoriasis can also cause nails to become discolored, crumble or separate from the skin beneath. While doctors may prescribe corticosteroids, tazarotene, methotrexate or other potent medications for people with psoriatic nails, one person wonders could flaxseed save nails.

Could Flaxseed Save Nails Separated from the Nail Beds? 

Q. I started giving my husband 1200 mg of flaxseed daily to improve his general health. Several months later we were very surprised to notice that his fingernails–which had been separated from their nail beds for over 25 years due to a psoriatic condition–had mended entirely. Is this a known remedy?

A. You may have stumbled onto something unique. We searched the medical literature and could find nothing linking flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) to the treatment of psoriasis.

On the other hand, scientists have found evidence that both ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil have anti-inflammatory properties (Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Oct. 2017).  One small study in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (online Nov. 18, 2011) reported that supplementation with flaxseed oil led to decreases in skin sensitivity, roughness and scaling.

Psoriasis and Metabolic Syndrome:

We won’t know whether flaxseed supplementation would translate into symptom improvements for people with psoriasis until a clinical trial is conducted. Researchers may not ask the question: could flaxseed save nails damaged by psoriasis? They might want to study flaxseed and its impact on psoriasis for a different reason, however. Some scientists have found that psoriasis and metabolic syndrome share clinical features and inflammatory pathways (Clinical Dermatology, Jan-Feb. 2018).

Other researchers conducted a controlled trial with 44 volunteers who had metabolic syndrome (Phytotherapy Research, Aug. 2016). They found that participants who consumed 30 g of flaxseed daily and got lifestyle advice lost more inches around their waists than those who merely got lifestyle advice. In addition, fewer of the volunteers eating flaxseed met metabolic syndrome criteria by the end of the study. They also improved their response to insulin significantly more than those in the control group.

A brand-new study suggests another possible connection. Japanese investigators report that people with psoriasis are prone to elevated blood sugar (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, June 2019). If flaxseed supplements can help reverse high blood sugar and metabolic syndrome, they might help calm the inflammation of psoriasis. 

Newsletter Reading List

  1. 1Will Hot Water Help You Move Your Bowels?
  2. 2Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Cause Cognitive Problems
  3. 3Will Soy Sauce Ease Your Burn Pain?
  4. 4Why Aren’t Docs Outraged by Inadequate Generic Drug Approval?
  5. 5How Can You Prevent Tick Bites?
  6. 6Decongestant Spray Addiction is Hard to Kick
  7. 7Generic Furosemide Disappoints | How to Afford Lasix?
  8. 8Show 1169: What Are the Problems with Generic Drugs?
  9. 9PPIs are Safe! New Study Contradicts Prior Research
  10. 10Warfarin and Green Leafy Vegetables Can Be OK
  11. 11Diabetes Risk No Lower with Vitamin D Supplements
  12. 12Could TV On All Night Make You Gain Weight?

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Shirley
    Seattle
    Reply

    Isn’t it true that flax seed must be ground to be digested and absorbed?

  2. hank
    Green Bay
    Reply

    Would flax meal work as well as flax seed ? ?

    • Terry Graedon
      Reply

      Flax meal is ground flax seed, so it should do fine. We suspect the reader who wrote us was giving her husband flaxseed oil, however.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Total
USD
Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.