Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Whole flaxseed, but not oil, may cut cholesterol
"Adding whole flaxseed to your diet, but not flaxseed oil, may help lower your cholesterol levels, hint the combined results of multiple studies. Flaxseed is seen as a heart-healthy food as it contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, digestion-aiding compounds called lignans, and alpha linolenic acid, which is linked to heart health. However, individual studies on flaxseed's impact on blood cholesterol levels have yielded mixed results. This led Dr. Xu Lin, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, and colleagues, to pool results from 28 studies involving more than 1,500 men and women to try to clarify the impact whole flaxseed and its derivatives have on cholesterol levels. Average whole flaxseed or flaxseed oil intake was about one tablespoon daily. The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, link whole flaxseed with reductions in total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol."