Flaxseed Reduces Total and LDL Cholesterol Concentrations in Native American Postmenopausal Women

January 1, 2008 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Flaxseed Reduces Total and LDL Cholesterol Concentrations in Native American Postmenopausal Women

Year: 2008
Authors: Patade, A. Devareddy, L. Lucas, E.A. Korlagunta, K. Daggy, B.P. Arjmandi, B.H.
Publication Name: Journal of Women's Health
Publication Details: Volume 17; Number 3; Pages 355 – 366.


The objective of the study was to investigate the extent to which the daily incorporation of approximately 30 g of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber, for a period of 3 months into the diet of Native American postmenopausal women positively affects their lipid profiles. Fifty-five mild to moderately hypercholesterolemic (5.1 to 9.8 mmol/L) Native American postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to control (A), flaxseed (B) or flaxseed additional oat bran fiber (C) groups. Overnight fasting venous blood was collected at baseline and at the end of the treatment period to analyze lipid parameters. Dietary flaxseed supplementation lowered total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by approximately 7% and 10%, respectively. However, the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride remained unaltered. No changes were observed in other clinical and hematological parameters. The results of the present study indicate that Native American postmenopausal women benefit from regular consumption of flaxseed by reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease as seen from lowered LDL-C and total cholesterol levels. (Authors abstract)
CVD is the leading cause of death for Native American women, and 61% of Native American women in the country have one or more CVD risk factors, such as high blood cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. A previous publication by these researchers reported that 40 g/day of flaxseed supplementation lowered both serum total cholesterol and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) by 6% in primarily Caucasian postmenopausal women. The present study was designed to evaluate the extent to which the daily consumption of 30 g flaxseed improves lipid profiles in Native American postmenopausal women. The extent to which the addition of 8 g oat bran fiber enhances the hypocholesterolemic effects of flaxseed. was also assessed. The findings of the present study indicate that daily consumption of approximately 30 g whole ground flaxseed lowers total cholesterol in postmenopausal Native American women.  Total cholesterol and LDL-C concentrations were decreased by approximately 7% and 10%, respectively, in both groups who received flaxseed. The consumption of flaxseed did not change the HDL-C levels in the present study. In addition,  flaxseed lowered the inflammatory compound Lp(a) by approximately 22%, although the mean values did not reach statistical significance. Flaxseed had no detrimental effects on haematological parameters, such as WBC, RBC, and Hb concentrations during the course of the study. No effects on serum levels of CRP, a marker of inflammation were noted. The lack of effect of flaxseed on CRP could be because participants in this study had no overt inflammation. The results of the present study suggest that Native American postmenopausal women would benefit from incorporating approximately 30 g flaxseed into their daily diet, as seen from their improved cholesterol profile. In addition to its cholesterol-lowering effects, flaxseed may have other beneficial effects, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiatherosclerotic effects, which can lower the risk of CVD in postmenopausal women. (Editors comments)

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