pregnancy Pregnancy Health Premature Babies

Study: Pregnant Women Consuming Flaxseed Oil Quadruple Premature Birth Risk

Researchers from The University Of Montreal have found that pregnant women who consume flaxseed oil are four times more likely to deliver their babies prematurely.

The study has found that the risks of a premature birth quadruple if flaxseed oil is consumed in the last two trimesters of pregnancy.

A majority of pregnant women prefer to use natural health products during the pregnancy.

The most consumed natural health products by pregnant women are chamomile, green tea, peppered mint and flaxseed oil.

Many moms-to-be believe these products to be safe because they are natural. But in reality, they are chemical products and we don’t know many of the risks and benefits of these products contrarily to medication, said Professor Anick Berard of the Universite de Montreal’s Faculty of Pharmacy.

In the study involving 3354 Quebec women the only one product had a very strong correlation with preterm births was flaxseed oil.

In the general population, the average rate of premature births is 2 to 3 percent. But for women consuming flaxseed oil in their last two trimesters that number jumps up to 12 percent, said Berard.

This is scary to me because I take flaxseed oil to get my Omega 3’s. I guess you can’t win – you eat fish for Omega 3’s and run the risk of mercury or take flaxseed and have your baby early…

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!


  • OK, how much flax oil, what kind, what form? What other factors were common among the 12%. Studies are important but too often the results are biased and not all the information is divulged.

    I do think it is important to use whole foods, preferably, fresh and eaten raw or as close to the natural state as possible to get nutrients during all lifecycles.

    Flax oil has been used to fight cancer successfully (see Budwig Protocol) and I guess there may be a link as pregnancy can sometimes appear to the body to be foreign and maybe that has something to do with it (just pondering).

  • The study should also state how many people dropped out, and what their genetic predispositions were. Was the sample randomized? If a study was conducted on people taking say supplement X from Village Z and the study came back saying these people had higher incidence of cancer to the rest of the country, they could easily blame that health supplement. But in fact, there could be industrial toxins leaching into their environment upstream.

    You have to interpret studies and see who is paying for them as well.

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