Flaxseed product fails to lower cholesterol in women

Researchers at Iowa State University’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center in Ames determined whether the main compound in a flaxseed product, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, could lower cholesterol.

Here’s a preview of the results they will present during the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting.

First, the details.

  • 90 participants with high cholesterol levels were included in the study — twice as many men as women.
  • The participants were randomly divided into 3 groups: daily consumption of tablets containing zero, 150, or 300 mg of flaxseed compounds for 12 weeks.
  • They had no other underlying health conditions.

And, the results.

  • The flaxseed product used in this study lowered cholesterol in men.
  • It did not produce a significant change in women.

The bottom line?

“We’re really puzzled about that because we were looking at post menopausal women and these lignans [compounds] are known as plant estrogens, so they have a very weak but measurable estrogen effect,” concluded the authors.

The tablets used in this study are not currently available in the US.

A recent review confirms that women do respond to flaxseed.

5/10/10 20:33 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.