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The flax plant, an ancient crop, yields the fibre from which linen is woven, as well as seeds (linseed or flaxseed) and oil. The oil, also called linseed oil, has many industrial uses - it is an important ingredient in paints, varnishes and linoleum for example...
Like olive, canola, and most other plant oils, flax seed oil is highly unsaturated and heart-healthy. Lignans and other flax seed components may also have antioxidant properties, which means they may reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals...
Recently small studies of cancer patients who consumed flaxseeds have produced some encouraging results.