Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flaxseed lowers high cholesterol in men.....

Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) (Linum  usitatissimum) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India.  This is called as Agasi/Akshi in Kannada, Jawas/Javas (जवस) or Alashi (अळशी) in Marathi.  

Flax seeds come in two basic varieties brown yellow or golden. Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called Linola or solin, which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3. Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, it is better known as an ingredient in paints, fiber and cattle feed. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils and solvent-processed flax seed oil has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing. 

Flaxseeds are rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that is a precursor to the form of omega-3 found in fish oils called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Many benefits like 1. anti-iflammatory benefits, 2. omega-3-rich flaxseeds protect bone health, against heart disease, cancer and diabetes, 4. flaxseeds help prevent and control high blood pressure. And even it helps to control some types of cancers.

Earlier report says,  Flaxseed provides comparable cholesterol-lowering benefits to statin drugs. Now this has been further substantiated by researchers from Iowa State University's (ISU) Nutrition and Wellness Research Center (NWRC).

Suzanne Hendrich, an ISU professor in food science and human nutrition, led a study that examined the effects of flaxseed lignan in 90 people diagnosed with high cholesterol. The results showed that consuming at least 150 milligrams of flaxseed lignans per day (about three tablespoons) decreased cholesterol in men, but not women, by just under 10 percent over the three months that they were given the flaxseed.  Suzanne concludes that though the result is  considerably less than the expected outcome from cholesterol-lowering drugs -- approximately 10 to20 percent for three months, depending on the individual -- it's still enough to make flaxseed a more natural option for some men. While the study found that the flaxseed lignans lowered cholesterol in men, it did not produce a significant change in women. More.... 

Ref :

(Those interested in knowing the other benefits of flax seed can read the article..)

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