Flaxseed and its Components in Renal Disease. In: Flaxseed in Human Nutrition.

January 1, 1995 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Flaxseed and its Components in Renal Disease. In: Flaxseed in Human Nutrition.

Year: 1995
Authors: A Parbtani, W F Clark.
Publication Name: AOCS Press, Champaign, Ill.
Publication Details: 245.260.


Chronic renal failure including glomerulonephritis, diabetes-related renal disease and hypertension-induced renal injury is a major health problem in North America. Glomerulonephritisis is the main cause for end-stage renal disease eventually requiring dialysis or transplantation. The progression of renal disease is characterized by the loss of functional glomeruli beyond a critical number resulting in the remaining glomeruli being subjected to increased hydraulic pressure. Inflammatory and vasoconstrictive eicosanoids exacerbate glomerular injury. In this chapter, the author reviews research that has assessed the effects of flaxseed on immune and nonimmune models of renal injury. ALA has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic properties, while flaxseed lignans have been reported to be antagonist to platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptors. PAF contributes to inflammatory reactions in progressive glomerulonephritisis. A study is described in which a 15% flaxseed diet reduced mortality and proteinuria, preserved renal function (glomerular filtration rate – GFR) and inhibited lymphadenopathy and splenic T-cell proliferation in a MRL/lpr mouse model of lupus nephritis. PAF-induced platelet aggregation was also inhibited by the flaxseed diet. A subsequent experiment indicated that whole flaxseed was more effective than flaxseed oil or flaxseed meal in reducing the above noted symptoms of lupus nephritis. The effects of whole flaxseed and flaxseed oil diets have also been assessed in a rat 5/6 renal ablation model, a nonimmune model of renal disease. Both diets had a favorable effect on plasma lipids and blood pressure and significantly decreased disease symptoms. The flaxseed diet more effectively improved glomerulosclerosis. Patients with lupus nephritis were supplemented with15, 30, and 45 g of flaxseed/day sequentially at four week intervals, followed by a five-week washout period. TC and LDL-C levels and blood viscosity were significantly reduced. ALA, EPA and the n-3/n-6 ratio were increased in serum PLs. PAF-induced platelet aggregation was inhibited by all doses of flaxseed. Renal function, assessed by serum creatinine, creatinine clearance and urinary protein measurements were improved over the short term duration of this study. There was a significant decline in serum creatinine with 30 and 45 g, and a concomitant increase in creatinine clearance with increasing flaxseed dose. Proteinuria was reduced with 30 g and to a lesser extent with 45 g of flaxseed. The authors indicated that the reduction in blood viscosity could potentially contribute to a decrease in glomerular capillary permeability and a consequent reduction in proteinuria. The authors concluded that results from both animal and human studies indicate that flaxseed appears to confer significant benefits in terms of renal function as well as inflammatory and atherogenic mechanisms important in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis. They recommend longer term studies with flaxseed as a potential treatment for lupus nephritis and other forms of progressive renal disease.

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