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Flaxseed and Cardiovascular Risk

LeAnne T. Bloedon M. S., R.D., Philippe O. Szapary M. D.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2004.tb00002.x 18-27 First published online: 1 January 2004

Abstract

Flaxseed has recently gained attention in the area of cardiovascular disease primarily because it is the richest known source of both α-linolenic acid (ALA) and the phytoestrogen, lignans, as well as being a good source of soluble fiber. Human studies have shown that flaxseed can modestly reduce serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, reduce postprandial glucose absorption, decrease some markers of inflammation, and raise serum levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and eicosapentaenoic acid. Data on the antiplatelet, antioxidant, and hypotensive effects of flaxseed, however, are inconclusive. More research is needed to define the role of this functional food in reducing cardiovascular risk

  • flaxseed
  • lignans
  • α-linolenic acid
  • cholesterol
  • cardiovascular disease

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