Flaxseed Oil: It provides vegetarians with an adequate supply of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Although it cannot handle heat, it has a wonderful, nutty flavor and can be used as a drizzle on cold dishes like fish, smoothies and salads.

Flaxseeds (Linum usitatissimum) have come under the spotlight recently due to their high content of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.[1,2,3] They are also rich in amino acids—arginine and glutamine—that prevent heart disease and boost immunity.[4,5]

Studies also suggest that flaxseeds can prevent diarrhea and constipation.[6,7,8] A research found that when 10gm to 20gm of flaxseed powder was given to people with type 2 diabetes daily, their fasting blood sugar levels were reduced by 19.7 percent.[9,10]

Lab and animal studies have shown that flaxseeds can suppress the formation of several types of cancers such as breast, colon, skin and lung cancer.[11,12] The fiber present in them can suppress hunger pangs and aid weight loss.[13,14]

Flaxseeds For High Cholesterol
Elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood are a well-known risk factor for heart disease. This is particularly true about oxidized LDL-cholesterol.[15]

Clinical studies show that daily consumption of flaxseeds can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by nine to 18 percent.[16,17,18,19]

Animal studies support the fact that flaxseeds could lower cholesterol levels and improve the composition of blood fats.[20,21,22,23]

Flaxseeds can safely be had with other cholesterol-lowering medicines. In a study that lasted a year, flaxseeds caused an additional 8.5 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol when compared to those who did not eat flaxseeds.6,7 This cholesterol-lowering effect is attributed to the high fiber and lignan content in flaxseeds.

The lignans and fiber bind with cholesterol-rich bile acids and carry them down the digestive tract. This helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body.6,7

How To Take It

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Natural Remedies here.

Read More:
Quick Fix: Mulberries For High Cholesterol
Quick Fix: Watermelon For High Blood Pressure
7 Natural Remedies To Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check
Relieve It With A Herb: Hawthorn For High Blood Pressure
Healing Q&A: How Do I Get Off High Blood Pressure Medications?

1. Goyal A, Sharma V, Upadhyay N, Gill S, Sihag M. Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. J Food Sci Technol. 2014 Sep;51(9):1633-53. doi: 10.1007/s13197-013-1247-9. Epub 2014 Jan 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 25190822; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4152533.

2. Singh KK, Mridula D, Rehal J, Barnwal P. Flaxseed: a potential source of food, feed and fiber. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Mar;51(3):210-22. doi: 10.1080/10408390903537241. Review. PubMed PMID: 21390942.

3. Prasad K. Flaxseed and cardiovascular health. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2009 Nov;54(5):369-77. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e3181af04e5. Review. PubMed PMID: 19568181.

4. Gornik HL, Creager MA. Arginine and endothelial and vascular health. J Nutr. 2004 Oct;134(10 Suppl):2880S-2887S; discussion 2895S. Review. PubMed PMID:15465805.

5. Avenell A. Glutamine in critical care: current evidence from systematic reviews. Proc Nutr Soc. 2006 Aug;65(3):236-41. Review. PubMed PMID: 16923308.

6. Hanif Palla A, Gilani AH. Dual effectiveness of Flaxseed in constipation and diarrhea: Possible mechanism. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Jul 1;169:60-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.03.064. Epub 2015 Apr 15. PubMed PMID: 25889554.

7. Xu J, Zhou X, Chen C, Deng Q, Huang Q, Yang J, Yang N, Huang F. Laxative effects of partially defatted flaxseed meal on normal and experimental constipated mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Mar 9;12:14. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-14. PubMed PMID: 22400899; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3353840.

8. Palla AH, Khan NA, Bashir S, Ur-Rehman N, Iqbal J, Gilani AH. Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of Linum usitatissimum (Flaxseed) in infectious and non-infectious diarrhea. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Feb 3;160:61-8. doi:
10.1016/j.jep.2014.11.030. Epub 2014 Nov 26. PubMed PMID: 25433250.

9. Mani UV, Mani I, Biswas M, Kumar SN. An open-label study on the effect of flax seed powder (Linum usitatissimum) supplementation in the management of diabetes mellitus. J Diet Suppl. 2011 Sep;8(3):257-65. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2011.593615. Epub 2011 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 22432725.

10. Sherry Kapoor, Rajbir Sachdeva and Anita Kochhar. Efficacy of Flaxseed Supplementation on Nutrient Intake and Other Lifestyle Pattern in Menopausal Diabetic Females. Ethno Med, 5(3): 153-160 (2011).

11. Truan JS, Chen JM, Thompson LU. Comparative effects of sesame seed lignan and flaxseed lignan in reducing the growth of human breast tumors (MCF-7) at high levels of circulating estrogen in athymic mice. Nutr Cancer. 2012;64(1):65-71. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2012.630165. Epub 2011 Dec 2. PubMed PMID: 22136581.

12. Chen J, Power KA, Mann J, Cheng A, Thompson LU. Flaxseed alone or in combination with tamoxifen inhibits MCF-7 breast tumor growth in ovariectomized athymic mice with high circulating levels of estrogen. Exp Biol Med (Maywood).
2007 Sep;232(8):1071-80. PubMed PMID: 17720953.

13. Wanders AJ, van den Borne JJ, de Graaf C, Hulshof T, Jonathan MC, Kristensen M, Mars M, Schols HA, Feskens EJ. Effects of dietary fibre on subjective appetite, energy intake and body weight: a systematic review of randomized
controlled trials. Obes Rev. 2011 Sep;12(9):724-39. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00895.x. Epub 2011 Jun 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 21676152.

14. Kristensen M, Savorani F, Christensen S, Engelsen SB, Bügel S, Toubro S, Tetens I, Astrup A. Flaxseed dietary fibers suppress postprandial lipemia and appetite sensation in young men. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Feb;23(2):136-43. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2011.03.004. Epub 2011 Jul 29. PubMed PMID: 21802266.

15. Holvoet P. Oxidized LDL and coronary heart disease. Acta Cardiol. 2004 Oct;59(5):479-84. Review. PubMed PMID: 15529550.

16. Kristensen M, Jensen MG, Aarestrup J, Petersen KE, Søndergaard L, Mikkelsen MS, Astrup A. Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but magnitude of effect depend on food type. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Feb 3;9:8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-8. PubMed PMID: 22305169; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3307491.

17. Kawakami Y, Yamanaka-Okumura H, Naniwa-Kuroki Y, Sakuma M, Taketani Y, Takeda E. Flaxseed oil intake reduces serum small dense low-density lipoprotein concentrations in Japanese men: a randomized, double blind, crossover study. Nutr J. 2015 Apr 21;14:39. doi: 10.1186/s12937-015-0023-2. PubMed PMID: 25896182; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4409715.

18. Patade A, Devareddy L, Lucas EA, Korlagunta K, Daggy BP, Arjmandi BH. Flaxseed reduces total and LDL cholesterol concentrations in Native American postmenopausal women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 Apr;17(3):355-66. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2007.0359. PubMed PMID: 18328014.

19. Bloedon LT, Balikai S, Chittams J, Cunnane SC, Berlin JA, Rader DJ, Szapary PO. Flaxseed and cardiovascular risk factors: results from a double blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Feb;27(1):65-74. PubMed PMID: 18460483.

20. Park JB, Velasquez MT. Potential effects of lignan-enriched flaxseed powder on bodyweight, visceral fat, lipid profile, and blood pressure in rats. Fitoterapia. 2012 Jul;83(5):941-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.04.010. Epub 2012 Apr 19. PubMed PMID: 22542959.

21. Ferreira Medeiros de França Cardozo L, Alves Chagas M, Leal Soares L, Andrade Troina A, Teles Bonaventura G. Exposure to flaxseed during lactation does not alter prostate area or epithelium height but changes lipid profile in rats. Nutr Hosp. 2010 Mar-Apr;25(2):250-5. PubMed PMID: 20449534.

22. Barakat LA, Mahmoud RH. The antiatherogenic, renal protective and immunomodulatory effects of purslane, pumpkin and flax seeds on
hypercholesterolemic rats. N Am J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;3(9):411-7. doi: 10.4297/najms.2011.3351. PubMed PMID: 22362450; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3271396.

23. Torkan M, Entezari MH, Siavash M. Effect of flaxseed on blood lipid level in hyperlipidemic patients. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2015;10(1):61-7. PubMed PMID: 25612882.

24. Edel AL, Rodriguez-Leyva D, Maddaford TG, Caligiuri SP, Austria JA, Weighell W, Guzman R, Aliani M, Pierce GN. Dietary flaxseed independently lowers circulating cholesterol and lowers it beyond the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications alone in patients with peripheral artery disease. J Nutr. 2015 Apr;145(4):749-57. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.204594. Epub 2015 Feb 18. PubMed PMID: 25694068.

25. Bassett CM, Rodriguez-Leyva D, Pierce GN. Experimental and clinical research findings on the cardiovascular benefits of consuming flaxseed. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Oct;34(5):965-74. doi: 10.1139/H09-087. PubMed PMID: 19935863.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.