Ground Flax Reduces Blood Pressure
Ground flaxseed can also significantly reduce blood pressure, according to another human study.
Peripheral artery disease is typically accompanied by hypertension or high blood pressure. Peripheral artery disease occurs when the walls of blood vessels throughout the body become thickened with a buildup of plaque. Often this is more pronounced among the blood vessels of the lower legs. This thickening of plaque drives up blood pressure.
In a 2013 study from the St Boniface Hospital Research Center in Winnipeg, Canada,4 researchers gave 110 peripheral artery disease patients a placebo or 30 grams of ground flaxseed every day for six months.
Flaxseed cake. Flax lowers blood pressure.
After the six months, the flaxseed group had significantly higher levels of omega-3s in the bloodstream and their bloods lignan levels associated with lower cholesterol and less artery damage increased by between double and fifty times. The placebo group had no such increases.
Furthermore, the blood pressure of the flaxseed group was lowered significantly. Their systolic blood pressure on average was 10 mm Hg lower than the beginning of the study, and their diastolic blood pressure was lower by 7 mm Hg on average.
But those patients who had extremely high blood pressure at the beginning of the study and were part of the flaxseed group saw even greater reductions. These patients had an average reduction of systolic blood pressure by 15 mm Hg.
Medications For Diabetes Interacts With Flaxseed
Flaxseed can decrease blood sugar levels. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking flaxseed along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride , glyburide , insulin, pioglitazone , rosiglitazone , chlorpropamide , glipizide , tolbutamide , and others.
Flax Seeds And Cholesterol Lowering
Flax seeds are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid. This is the plant-derived type of omega-3 fats, which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides levels.
A 2010 study, published in Nutrition Research, found that daily administration of 100mg of flaxseed lignan, can be effective at reducing blood cholesterol levels, in men with a moderately high cholesterol level.
Another small study, involving 40 patients with high cholesterol levels, were instructed to take 20 grams of ground flax seed per day. When the results were compared to the group taking a statin drugs, those receiving flax seed did just as well as those given statin drugs.
Flax seeds also contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is thought to aid in lowering cholesterol, by preventing the absorption of cholesterol within the body.
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Types Of Healthy Fat In Oils
Incorporating a variety of different oils in your diet can help to provide an array of different micronutrients.
Monounsaturated fats contain a single unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. A good source of vitamin E, monounsaturated fats are found only in plants. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends MUFAs make up 15% to 20% of total daily calories.
Polyunsaturated fats have more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule and are found in plants and fish such as salmon. PUFAs also contain vitamin E and high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acidsnutrients essential for brain function and cell growth.
Some oils are high in omega-3 fatty acidshealthy fats that help to reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of arterial plaque. Avocado, canola, flaxseed, olive, peanut, sunflower, and walnut oils are all good sources of omega-3.
How To Use Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is sensitive to light and heat, so it is best to buy it in an opaque or dark glass bottle to protect it from the light and store it in a cool, dark place.
The taste of flaxseed oil is mild. People can drink a spoonful straight or incorporate it into dips and sauces.
People can also use flaxseed oil instead of other oils or butter for cooking. Flaxseed oil is sensitive to heat, so cooking with it will change the nutritional properties.
For those who do not want to add flaxseed oil to food, it is also available in capsule form as a supplement.
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Does Flaxseed Reduce Testosterone In Men And Women
Flaxseed use may reduce the level of testosterone in men and women.
Flaxseed contains a high concentration of lignans, a plant compound that binds to your free testosterone and causes your body to excrete it. Besides that, flaxseed also has a massive amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids linked to reduced testosterone in men.
In one study, 25 men with prostate cancer used flaxseed supplements as clinical nutrition and reduced their fat intake. As a result, the participants showed a considerable reduction in testosterone levels . These effects led to a decrease in muscle mass and reduced prostate weight.
Similarly, studies conducted on women with polycystic ovary syndrome showed that using flax seeds significantly reduces testosterone and symptoms associated with hyperandrogenism .
Although these studies show flaxseeds testosterone-reducing capabilities, scientists need to conduct them at larger scales to determine just how much they affect sex hormone metabolism in both males and females.
Flax Seeds May Improve Cholesterol
Another health benefit of flax seeds is their ability to lower cholesterol levels.
In one study in people with high cholesterol, consuming 3 tablespoons of flaxseed powder daily for three months lowered total cholesterol by 17% and bad LDL cholesterol by almost 20% .
Another study of people with diabetes found that taking 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder daily for one month resulted in a 12% increase in good HDL cholesterol .
In postmenopausal women, consuming 30 grams of flax seeds daily lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by approximately 7% and 10%, respectively .
These effects appear to be due to the fiber in flax seeds, as it binds to bile salts and is then excreted by the body.
To replenish these bile salts, cholesterol is pulled from your blood into your liver. This process lowers your blood levels of cholesterol (
This is definitely good news for those wanting to improve their cholesterol.
The high fiber content of flax seeds can help lower cholesterol and may play an important role in improving heart health.
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Flax Seeds Are Rich In Dietary Fiber
Just one tablespoon of whole flax seeds contains 3 grams of fiber, which is 812% of the daily recommended intake for men and women, respectively .
Whats more, flax seeds contain two types of dietary fiber soluble and insoluble .
This fiber duo gets fermented by the bacteria in the large bowel, bulks up stools and results in more regular bowel movements.
On one hand, soluble fiber increases the consistency of the contents of your intestine and slows down your digestion rate. This has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol .
On the other hand, insoluble fiber allows more water to bind to the stools, increases their bulk and results in softer stools. This is useful for preventing constipation and for those who have irritable bowel syndrome or diverticular disease .
With so much fiber packed in each tiny seed, adding flax seeds to your diet promotes regular bowel movements and can improve your digestive health.
How To Cook With It
- Thickener in recipes: Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains in recipes, especially baked ones flax is usually easily metabolized.
- Egg substitute: Thats right! You can replace eggs in a recipe using finely ground flax seed. Use one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water, combined, to replace one egg. The seeds have a gelatinous quality that emulsifies much the way an egg would.
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Health Benefits Of Flaxseeds
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids, known as the good fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Research indicates that flaxseed could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, like prostate cancer and breast cancer. Besides that, essential fatty acids keep skin, nails, and hair shiny and healthy.
- Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities, promoting hormonal balance. Flaxseed is the highest source of lignans in the plant world it contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. The lignans in flaxseeds may help both menopausal and postmenopausal women alike.
- Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which can help with regulating blood sugar, promoting weight loss and preventing constipation. Soluble fiber can also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid. The alpha-linolenic acid and related chemicals in flaxseed oil seem to have anti-inflammatory properties. That is why flaxseed oil is considered useful for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
- Choline, which contributes to brain health and function.
Can Flaxseed Oil Help With Cholesterol Levels
We know that flaxseed oil is made by crushing the seeds of the flax plant. Contained in this oil is both Omega 3 and Omega 6. These are both fatty acids that are needed for your overall general health. Now please bear with me as this does get a little technical.
I think however it is also really important to understand how all of this works together.
There are three terms that are important to fully understand when it comes to fatty acids and how they help us. These are:
These are strange terms I know but going forwards we will just use the abbreviations. Flaxseed oil contains the ALA and then the body converts this into EPA and also DHA. Both EPA and DHA are found in fish oil.
A lot of people disagree on whether flaxseed oil is as good as fish oil and there are arguments for both sides. One thing is clear though and that is the body is not actually that good at converting the ALA found in flaxseed oil into the other two parts which are the EPA and DHA.
Case Studies On Heart Disease
There is some pretty clear evidence that fish oil is known to reduce inflammation and is good for the prevention of heart disease. The same studies on flaxseed oil are actually very mixed.
There have been many scholarly reports written on this and the big issue is that none of them can make a clear statement that either fish oil, flaxseed oil or even eating fish can relate directly to an improved reduction in cholesterol levels or help prevent coronary disease.
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Flaxseed Lowers High Cholesterol In Men Study Suggests
- Iowa State University
- A new study may give men a way to combat high cholesterol without drugs if they dont mind sprinkling some flaxseed into their daily diet.
A new study from Iowa State Universitys Nutrition and Wellness Research Center may give men a way to combat high cholesterol without drugs if they dont mind sprinkling some flaxseed into their daily diet.
Suzanne Hendrich, an ISU professor in food science and human nutrition, led a study that examined the effects of flaxseed lignan in 90 people diagnosed with high cholesterol. The results showed that consuming at least 150 milligrams of flaxseed lignans per day decreased cholesterol in men, but not women, by just under 10 percent over the three months that they were given the flaxseed.
While Hendrich admits thats considerably less than the expected outcome from cholesterol-lowering drugs approximately 10 to20 percent for three months, depending on the individual its still enough to make flaxseed a more natural option for some men.
Because there are people who cant take something like Lipitor, this could at least give you some of that cholesterol-lowering benefit, Hendrich said. The other thing is, there are certainly some people who would prefer to not use a drug, but rather use foods to try to maintain their health. So this potentially would be something to consider.
Americans suffer from high blood cholesterol
No cholesterol-lowering effect in women
Flaxseed Consumption Lowers Cholesterol Levels
One of the most healthful additions to a heart healthy diet is ground flaxseeds. This wondrous little seed has played an important part of human history for over 5,000 years. Native to the Mediterranean, flax has been used not only as a food, but also for its fibers, which can be woven into linen cloth. Now most valued for its ability to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer, a new study from the Canadian Center for Agri-Food Research highlights another important effect in promoting cardiovascular health.
The major health benefit of flaxseeds has focused on their rich content of oil and the fiber components known as lignans. Flaxseed oil contains nearly twice the level of omega-3 fatty acids as fish oils although it is the smaller-chain alpha-linolenic acid rather than the longer-chain fats like EPA and DHA found in fish oils.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of dietary flaxseed on plasma cholesterol in a patient population with clinically significant peripheral artery disease including many who were taking statins to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Patients consumed daily foods that contained either 30 g of milled flaxseed or 30 g of whole wheat for one year. Plasma lipids were measured at 0, 1, 6, and 12 months.
Dr. Michael Murray
The big push conventional medical circles will make this month is encouraging men over the age of 50 years to see a physician for two tests:
On the Dr Oz show
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Flaxseed And Flaxseed Oil In The Management Of Hypercholesterolemia
Part I Of A Series On Flaxseed
The popularity of flaxseed stems from the fact that it contains three important constituents that have been implicated in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer prevention and inflammatory disorders.
The best evidence to date suggests that flaxseed products improve cardiovascular risk factors primarily by modestly improving lipid profiles. Flaxseeds anti-arrhythmic, antiplatelet, antioxidant, and hypoglycemic potential will be covered in a separate article.
What About Flaxseed Oil
The resurgence of the use of flaxseed oil is due to its nutritional properties and health benefits.
Its usually extracted by a process called cold pressing.
Given that oil is sensitive to heat and light, its best kept in dark glass bottles and stored in a dark, cool place like a kitchen cabinet.
Because some of its nutrients are heat sensitive, flaxseed oil is not suitable for high-temperature cooking.
Nevertheless, some studies have shown that using flaxseed oil in light stir-frying of up to 350°F/177°C did not cause any reduction in the quality of the oil .
Its worth noting that flaxseed oil contains more ALA than flax seeds. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains 1.6 grams, while one tablespoon of flaxseed oil contains 7 grams.
Nonetheless, flax seeds contain a host of other beneficial nutrients that are not included in its extracted oil, such as fiber. To fully reap the health benefits of flax seeds, ground flax seeds will make a great first choice.
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Flax Seed Vs Sunflower Seed
In a double-blind, cross-over study published in the journal, Nutritional Research, in 1998, researchers compared the effects of flaxseed and sunflower seed on cholesterol levels in a group of post-menopausal women.
Thirty-eight such women with hypercholesterolemia were recruited for this study. For the first 6 weeks of the study, each of the women was given muffins and bread prepared with 38 g of either flaxseed or sunflower seed.
A 2-week washout period was allowed before each of the women was switched from flaxseed to sunflower seed or vice versa for another 6 weeks.
The results of the study also showed that only flaxseed significantly lowered LDL cholesterol while neither seeds significantly raised HDL cholesterol.
The Cardiovascular Benefits Of Flax Seed
A group of researchers investigated the benefits of flaxseed lignan extract for reducing serum cholesterol and preventing blockage of arteries by fatty deposits in rabbits. This study was published in the journal, Circulation, in 1999.
The results of the study showed that the lignan extract of flaxseed can reduce total serum cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, this flax extract increased HDL cholesterol and provided antioxidant protection to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
The combination of these effects reduced atherosclerosis by 73%.
This study proved that the lignan fraction of flaxseed can improve cardiovascular health by improving lipid profile and by its antioxidant effect.
An earlier study also confirmed this cardiovascular benefit of flaxseed in rabbits. This study was published in the journal, Atherosclerosis, in 1997.
This study linked the cardiovascular benefit of flaxseed with its omega-3 fatty acid and lignan content.
The researchers identified that flaxseed omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1, leukotriene B4 and tumor necrosis factor. Furthermore, the lignans in flaxseed can improve cardiovascular health by their anti-platelet and antioxidant properties.
This study indicates that flaxseed supplementation can help prevent heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases caused by high cholesterol levels.
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Top 10 Benefits Of Flaxseed And How To Add Them To Your Diet
Flaxseeds have been consumed for at least 6,000 years, making them one of the worlds first cultivated superfoods. What does flaxseed do for you that makes it one of the most popular superfoods? Flaxseeds contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids along with antioxidant substances called lignans that help promote hormonal balance in addition to several other benefits of flaxseed.
Benefits of flaxseed include helping improve digestion, skin, cardiovascular health, cholesterol and hormone balance while fighting cancer and even sugar cravings and thats just the beginning!