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General Questions

Why should I take waihi bush organic farm flax seed oil?

We think our flax seed oils are simply the best!   We are passionate about our products and have developed rigorous production and quality control processes to protect the fragile EFAs so that the oil reaches you in perfect condition.

waihi bush organic farm flax seed oils are a concentrated form of Essential Fatty acids that your body needs to take in through your diet :

  • Are formulated in a number of different blends, allowing you to tailor your essential fatty acid intake
  • Contain Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9
  • Taste fresh - not bitter which is a sign the oil has started to oxidise
  • Contain naturally occurring Vitamin E
  • Are free from cholesterol and trans fatty acids
  • Are cold pressed and unrefined
  • Are a vegetarian source of Omega-3 (excluding capsules)
  • Are certified organic by AgriQuality and therefore free from toxic residues
  • Are farmed sustainably, depleting no natural resources
  • Are controlled by Functional Whole Foods New Zealand Ltd from seed to product dispatch, with complete traceability
  • Are manufactured in a GMO free process
  • Are manufactured in a facility with a HACCP Food Safety Programme
What does flax seed oil look and taste like?

It is a clear, golden oil with a pleasant nutty flavour.   Added to food such as porridge, mashed potato, yoghurt or smoothies, it gives a delicious creamy texture.

How should I use flax seed oil?

Flax seed oil is very versitile and becasue it is nutty and creamy it is delicious mixed into your food, and can enhance the flavour..

Try these ideas to instantly improve the nutritive value of your meal:

  • Drizzle over hot vegetables
  • Use to mash potatoes instead of butter or milk
  • Mix into soups or stews (after cooking is finished)
  • Add to porridge
  • Blend into smoothies
  • Stir into yoghurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit (the sulphur containing proteins combine with Omega-3 to help the transport of oxygen in the body)
  • Add into fresh fruit or vegetable juice
  • Use as a dipping oil for fresh bread
  • Drizzle over hot pasta
  • Mix into butter for spreading

Flax seed oil can be used on cold, warm and hot foods just prior to serving, but should never be cooked or fried as this destroys their health giving properties and makes them toxic.   Never reheat food containing flax seed oil.

Does waihi bush flax seed oil have just Omega 3, or does it contain 6 & 9 as well?

Flax seed oil contains omega 3,6 & 9.   Because we are regulated as a food, we are not able to state this on our label unless there is more than 40% of that type of omega.   For example in flax original there is 61% omega 3, 17% omega 6 and 14% omega 9 but we can only list omega 3 on the label.


How much waihi bush organic farm flax seed oil should I take?

We recommend 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil a day (15-30ml).

When first taking flax seed oil, we advise that you start off slowly with a small amount (e.g. 1 teaspoon a day), and build up the amount over time.   Excessive amounts of flax seed oil may cause diarrhoea or nausea.   Do not take on an empty stomach as this can cause nausea in some people.  Remeber it is a natural product so your body will tell you whats the right amount.

If you prefer to take flax seed oil capsules, we recommend 2-5 1000mg capsules, up to 3 times per day for an adult; 1-2 capsules, 2 times a day for a child 3-18 years old. Be aware that small children can choke on capsules.

What are Essential Fatty Acids and why do I need them?

Certain fatty acids are defined as 'essential' because:

  • The body cannot make them
  • They are required for normal cell, tissue, gland, and organ function
  • They must be provided from outside the body, through food or supplements
  • Deficiency results in progressive deterioration of health

According to the above definition there are only two essential fatty acids or EFAs. One is the Omega-3 EFA alpha linolenic acid. The other is the Omega-6 EFA linoleic acid.

The body converts these 'parent' Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs into several 'child' fatty acids with important functions in the body.   'Children' of Omega-3 include stearidonic acid (found in blackcurrant seed oil) and EPA and DHA (found in high fat, cold water fish).   'Children' of Omega-6 include GLA (found in borage seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil, and evening primrose oil), DGLA, and AA (found in meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as in fish).

flax boost contains flax seed, blackcurrant seed and borage seed oils for a superb fatty acid profile consisting of both the Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs and their 'children'.   This makes it easy for the body to utilise.

flax original contains flax seed oil, providing around 3 times as much Omega-3 as Omega-6 - good for topping up deficient Omega-3.

flax balance contains flax seed and safflower oils, providing equal amounts of the Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs - for long-term balanced intake of the EFAs.

flax magic contains seed oils from flax, hemp, golden flax, borage, blackcurrant and natural banana flavour.   This blend has been carefully balanced to provide optimum health for young bodies.

flax bloom contains seed oils from flax, pumpkin, golden flax, blackcurrant, evening primrose and coconut.   This blend will ensure both mother and child receive the correct balance of essential fatty acids for healthy brain, eye and nervous system development of the foetus and ongoing good health for the mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What are the Functions of Essential Fatty Acids?

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) perform the following functions in the body:

  • Energy Production. They help with endurance, recovery from exercise and mental stamina
  • Brain Function. Benefits include elevated mood, lifted depression, increased calmness, better handling of stress, less hyperactivity, better focus, better mental processing, faster learning, increased intelligence, better concentration, and improved motor coordination.   EFAs are also required for vision
  • Skin, Hair, and Nails. EFAs are required for healthy skin and hair, and are required for normal nail growth. They moisturise skin and prevent dryness
  • Cardiovascular Health. Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease many cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including arrhythmia, high triglycerides, blood pressure and platelet stickiness
  • Insulin Function. Omega-3 helps to improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics
  • Weight Management. EFAs help reduce fat production in the body. They also increase fat burning and heat production in the body, and shift the body from burning glucose to burning fats
  • Digestion. EFAs improve gut integrity, decrease gut inflammation, and decrease 'leaky gut' that can lead to allergies
  • Allergies. EFAs reduce symptoms of allergies
  • Inflammation. Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation
  • Immune System. Omega-3 fats help to regulate the immune system and can help with both low immunity and an over response of the immune system (autoimmunity)
  • Injury. EFAs speed the healing of injuries
  • Bone Minerals. Omega-3 fats improve bone mineral retention, thereby inhibiting the development of osteoporosis
  • Stress. EFAs improve the stress response. People report feeling calmer, getting stressed less easily, dealing with stressful situations more calmly, and losing their temper less often. EFAs improve sleep in some people
  • Hormones. EFAs can improve hormone function
  • Reproduction. EFAs are required for sperm formation, the female cycle, and pregnancy

For more information on Health Concerns go to Health Questions

How much Omega-3 and Omega-6 do I need?

We need to consume both adequate amounts and also the right balance of the Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs).

Firstly, what amount is adequate?   In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health has not defined a recommended dietary intake for the EFAs.   It is prudent to ensure the regular consumption of foods containing both the EFAs.

What constitutes an 'ideal' balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 has also not been defined.   Various recommendations have been made, ranging from 1:1 to 1:10.   Experts do agree however that the typical Western type diet is too high in Omega-6 and low in Omega-3.

The reasons for this imbalance are:

  • Many of the foods we eat are manufactured using vegetable oils, which tend to be high in Omega-6.   In the past, saturated animal fats were used instead. This has decreased due to the prevailing health advice warning the population to reduce their intake of animal fats and also due to the economics of cheap vegetable oil production
  • The types of foods we eat have changed.   Convenience foods such as chips, pastries and biscuits are more likely to be consumed, and are usually cooked with Omega-6-rich vegetable oils
  • We do not eat as many Omega-3 containing foods as we did when we were hunter-gatherers - i.e. fish, wild game and large amounts of fresh green matter

Dietary sources of Omega-3

  • Flax seed oil (60%)
  • Hemp seed oil (20%)
  • Blackcurrant seed oil (17%)
  • Canola oil (7%)
  • Walnut oil (5%)
  • Wheat germ (5%)
  • Oily fish

Dietary sources of Omega-6

  • Pastries, biscuits, crackers, cakes
  • Crisps, chips, pizza
  • Margarines, sauces, mayonnaise
  • Most vegetable oils
  • Most nuts
  • Many processed foods, takeaways
  • Meats and other animal products

For many people it is therefore appropriate to re-establish a dietary balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats by increasing Omega-3 intake.   flax boost and flax original are designed with this in mind.

For those on a diet which is not high in Omega-6, flax balance may be a better choice as it provides a 1:1 ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 for long-term health maintenance.


What happens when we don't get enough essential fatty acids (EFAs)?

No cell, tissue, gland, or organ can function normally without EFAs.   According to Udo Erasmus, one of the pioneers promoting the importance of EFAs to human nutrition, symptoms of deficiency include:

  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Low energy levels
  • Brittle hair and hair loss
  • Poor nail growth
  • Deterioration of liver and kidneys
  • Behavioural changes due to brain deterioration
  • Imbalanced immune system, resulting in more infections, poorer wound healing, and increased cancer
  • Digestion problems, inflammation, bloating, allergies, autoimmune conditions
  • Bone mineral loss
  • Reproductive failure in males and females
  • Retarded growth of children
  • Tingling in arms and legs due to nerve deterioration
  • Vision and learning problems
  • Insulin resistance
  • Increased risk of overweight
  • Increased cancer risk
  • Increased cardiovascular risk
  • Decreased ability to cope with stress
  • In mental illness, increased symptoms
  • Decreased lung function
  • Decreased tissue oxygenation


Isn't fat bad for you?

Fats fulfil many important functions in our bodies and we cannot survive without them.   Fats are blamed for many health problems, but it is now clear that this is a dangerous over-simplification.   Some fats are healthy; others are unhealthy.

Healthy fats include the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) alpha linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which must be obtained from the diet and are both present in flax seed oil.

As EFAs are sensitive to light, air (oxygen), and heat, they need to be pressed, packaged, stored and used with care. Otherwise they become oxidised (rancid), which makes them toxic.   waihi bush organic farm flax seed oils are treated with the utmost care during pressing and bottling, and are tested for freshness prior to bottling, so you can be confident that they are health-enhancing.

Fish oils are often recommended because they contain the Omega-3 derivatives EPA and DHA rather than the Omega-3 precursor alpha linolenic acid (ALA) found in flax seed oil.   The thinking is that if these derivatives are taken directly, the body does not have to make them from the precursor.

It is however beneficial to directly consume some ALA because it is thought to have specific functions in the body.

While there is some controversy about the efficiency of the body's conversion from ALA to EPA, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggesting that flax seed oil helps to reduce inflammation indicate that this occurs adequately in most people.

There are sectors of the population who may have a compromised ability to convert the Omega-3 and Omega-6 precursors.

These include people who suffer from health problems linked to:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Vitamin/mineral deficiency
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol intake
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • And many more

As a vegetarian alternative to fish oil we have formulated flax boost and flax magic.   These products contain stearidonic acid and gamma linolenic acid, Omega-3 and Omega-6 derivatives that by-pass the first step in conversion.

flax boost is appropriate for use by anyone with a chronic health condition because their metabolic systems are likely to be less efficient. flax magic is ideal for small children, as the metabolic systems required to perform the conversion are not fully developed in the young. flax bloom is recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Our flax seed oil beats fish on a number of counts:

  • Our flax seed is grown organically and is free of pesticides and other toxins so there are no concerns about contamination with dioxins, PCBs or heavy metals
  • Flax seed is sustainably farmed and depletes no resources
  • Flax seed contains the primary Omega-3 from which all secondary Omega-3s are made
  • Flax seed also contains Omega-6 and 9 which fish does not
  • Both blackcurrant and fish contain secondary Omega-3, which by pass the first step in the conversion from primary to secondary Omega-3. Blackcurrant also has secondary Omega-6 as does borage.   (These are contained in flax boost and flax magic)
  • waihi bush organic farm flax seed oil products are a vegetarian source of Omega-3
  • Flax seed oil is less fragile than fish oils, which oxidise extremely readily. Furthermore, we handle our products with special care to protect their integrity
  • More versatile - it can easily be added to your daily foods
  • Pleasant flavour enhances foods - no fishy burps!
  • The flax seed used to create our products is grown here in New Zealand, and all manufacturing is done in New Zealand too