Diabetes MellitusFlaxseedOmega-3 Fatty Acids

The latest on flaxseed oil in diabetes

MayoClinic.com says, “Studies of the effect of flaxseed on blood sugar levels report mixed results. Flaxseed cannot be recommended as a treatment for diabetes at this time.”

But that was in February. Now it’s May. And here are the latest findings.

First, the details.

  • 32 people with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to take flaxseed oil of safflower oil (placebo) for 3 months.
    • Flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid.
  • Oil consumption in both groups was about 10 grams/day.
  • ALA intake in the flaxseed oil group was about 5.5 grams/day.
  • Neither the patients nor the researchers knew the treatment taken (blinded).

And the results.

  • Flaxseed oil had no impact on fasting blood sugar levels, insulin, or A1c values.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “High doses of flaxseed oil have no effect on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.”

However, it’s possible, they say, that flaxseed oil might have beneficial effects on platelet function in diabetics without changing blood sugar control. To show this benefit, a longer study would be needed.

I guess.

5/13/08 22:50 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.