Flaxseed improves arterial compliance.

January 1, 1997 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Flaxseed improves arterial compliance.

Year: 1997
Authors: P J Nestel.
Publication Name: ISSFAL Newsletter.
Publication Details: Page 8.


In this short article, the author provides a review of the beneficial effects of ALA in arterial function. He indicates that the health effects of flaxseed and flaxseed oil, previously overshadowed by interest in fish and fish oil, are becoming recognized to a greater extent by health professionals. Metabolic studies have shown that relatively small amounts of dietary ALA partially inhibit eicosanoid formation from n-6 FAs and suppress the production of the proinflammatory cytokines, TNF alpha and IL-1 as well as the vasoconstrictor, TXB2. These activities have been attributed principally to the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA in humans. A recent study conducted in the investigator’s laboratory reported a marked improvement in arterial compliance (distensibility of the large arterial system) in obese subjects consuming 20 g daily of ALA in the form of flaxseed oil. Cardiovascular consequences of reduced arterial compliance include systolic hypertension and reduced myocardial oxygenation. The benefit of ALA in reversing the stiffness of large arteries is emphasized by the author as a means to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction. Recommendations for increased consumption of n-3 PUFAs have been made recently due to their health benefits as well as in response to an imbalance between n-6 PUFAs and n-3 PUFAs in the Western diet. The author suggests that the emergence of flaxseed oil and flaxseed will raise the availability of ALA in the diets of affluent nations.

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