Flaxseed ResearchMarch 12, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Several of the most pressing health care issues of the moment can be vastly improved by making a few minor alterations to the modern diet. The addition of more dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and phytochemicals into our daily menu plan is a great starting point. An economical and simple way to do so is by including more (ground) flaxseeds into common foods such a hot cereals, muffins and yogurt.
Over the past year or so, several studies have been published which elucidate the far reaching health promoting potential of flax meal. What’s most interesting about the recent data is that it reveals that eating between 15 – 60 grams of ground flax daily affords numerous levels of protection against diabetes, heart disease and obesity. The mechanisms involved often overlap, but the end result is an almost certain improvement in overall health conferred by the regular consumption of flax in meals and snacks.
To begin with, flaxseed intake benefits the heart and waistline by lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by up to 15% and increases calorie and fat excretion by up to 50%. In addition, flaxseeds have also been shown to suppress hunger, reduce caloric intake and support healthier leptin levels – a hormone which plays a pivotal role in weight management. Other positive findings of late indicate that flax consumption: improves insulin sensitivity and, thereby, lowers diabetes risk and fat accumulation; decreases systemic inflammation and discourages poor circulation (prothrombotic profiles) in overweight adults. Because of these positive findings and others, researchers have even initiated a study to evaluate the effect of flax supplementation in patients living with peripheral artery disease or PAD.
It’s also interesting to note that scientists are beginning to closely examine the antioxidant content of flaxseeds. In particular, a phytochemical known as caffeic acid has been identified in flax. This is a potent antioxidant with anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that is typically found in cherries, coffee and kiwi. It seems the more science learns about flax, the more reason there is to recommend it.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Flaxseed Dietary Fibers Lower Cholesterol and Increase Fecal Fat … (link)
Study 2 – Flaxseed Dietary Fiber Supplements for Suppression of Appetite and … (link)
Study 3 – The Alpha Linolenic Acid Content of Flaxseed is Associated with … (link)
Study 4 – Flaxseed Supplementation Improved Insulin Resistance in Obese … (link)
Study 5 – Systemic Inflammation and Carotid Diameter in Obese Patients … (link)
Study 6 – The Effect of Dietary Flaxseed on Improving Symptoms of … (link)
Study 7 – Presence of Caffeic Acid in Flaxseed Lignan Macromolecule … (link)
Study 8 – Caffeic Acid, A Versatile Pharmacophore: An Overview … (link)
Study 9 – Polyphenols: Food Sources and Bioavailability … (link)
Study 10 – Effects of Diets High in Walnuts and Flax Oil on Hemodynamic … (link)
Eating Flaxseeds Regularly Improves Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR)
Source: Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:44 (link)
Tags: Cholesterol, Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss
Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition