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Q. I've heard that flaxseed oil reduces inflammation from arthritis. Is that true?

A. We know that the omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed oil and fish oils “have an anti-inflammatory property that is beneficial to the heart,” says Suzanne R. Steinbaum, D.O., director of the Women and Heart Disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. “Part of the risk of heart disease is correlated with inflammation, which can be reduced with flaxseed oil. This anti-inflammatory property is systemic, and therefore can most likely be beneficial for inflammation throughout the body.” For heart disease prevention, a typical daily dose for flaxseed is 1,000 mg, which can be taken up to three times a day, says Steinbaum. Fish oil doses can range from 850 mg up to 4 grams. “The benefits can start at that lower dose, and higher doses have an effect on triglyceride levels.”

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