Smoking cigarettes was once regarded as a glamorous lifestyle practiced by Hollywood stars and gritty gangsters. Today, however, we know better. Tobacco and smoking kill 480,000 people yearly in the United States and more than 40,000 secondhand smokers.
36.5 million Americans currently smoke, leaving them and their loved ones at high risk for cancer, stroke, heart disease, and several chronic illnesses. Even if you’ve been smoking for years, quitting can reduce your risk of developing these conditions.
This review aims to identify whether flaxseed oil affects tobacco cravings in humans.
Studies have shown that smoking induces oxidative stress, which lowers omega-3 fatty acid levels in the plasma and brain tissues, affecting neurotransmitters that lead to hypo-functioning of the mesocortical system, and increasing craving.
Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids effectively reduce tobacco cravings, especially EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), and fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids.
How Flaxseed Reduces Tobacco Cravings
Due to their nutritional properties and high omega-3 fatty acid content, flaxseeds were chosen by the researchers. In addition, ALA, polyunsaturated PUFAs, fibers, phytoestrogenic lignans, proteins, and antioxidants are also found in these foods.
All omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA, and DHA) have shown health benefits for at least a dozen health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Based on flaxseed’s physicochemical composition, flaxseed is a multi-component system containing organic plant substances such as oil, soluble polysaccharides, protein, lignans, dietary fiber, phenolic compounds, vitamins (A, C, E, and F), and minerals (Na, K, Mg, P, Mn, Zn, Cu, and Fe).
Because it is more easily accessible to Indians due to its higher production, flaxseed has never been used in this field as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are economical, more readily available, and do not cause concern among vegetarians.
In conclusion, increasing the omega-3 fatty acid intake of smokers and tobacco consumers may decrease the craving effect, reduce tobacco consumption, and be beneficial for individuals who desire to quit smoking.
If the results are positive, it will benefit tobacco consumers more significantly. Specifically, if it is thought to be beneficial for individuals who wish to give up tobacco use, flaxseed would help them.
More studies are needed to clarify whether flax seed is effective in this application and to determine the exact dose required. To date, no studies have demonstrated flaxseed’s effect on reducing tobacco cravings in tobacco-dependent patients.
More clinical trials are needed to determine whether flaxseed effectively reduces tobacco cravings in tobacco-dependent patients.