flaxseed health benefits | how to useful for healthy heart - Health & Food

               How to useful flaxseed for  healthy heart 

Flaxseed contains three components associated with improved cardiovascular health. the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 20% of dry weight); the plant lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG, 1% of dry weight); and soluble fibre (6% of dry weight). These constituents can positively  blood lipid levels, blood pressure, endothelial function, and inammation to mitigate CVD risk.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes all diseases of the heart and vasculature and has been the leading cause of mortality during the past decade.


Alpha-Linolenic Acid: A Heart-Healthy Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acid

    • Omega-3 ALA and omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) are the two essential fatty acids required in the human diet since they cannot be endogenously synthesized. Flaxseed is the richest plant source of ALA. A meta-analysis of 27 prospective and retrospective studies reported that each 1 g/d increment of ALA intake was associated with a 10% lower risk of death from heart disease.
    • 6 Higher intakes have also been associated with lower risk of myocardial infarction (MI). A large study in ,3638 men and women reported a strong negative correlation between ALA status, measured in adipose tissue, and corresponding intakes of 1.8 g ALA/day with nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) .
  • And men who consumed more than 1 g ALA/day had a 35 to 50 per cent lower risk of stroke after 8 to 13 years of follow up in a study of 20,069 people . Individuals with low ALA intakes (less than 1 g/day) may experience the greatest cardiovascular benets from increasing intakes.
  • Red flaxseeds
                                       Red flaxseeds
  • The minimum recommended Daily Value for ALA Omega-3 is 1,600-mg per day. As well, the American Heart Association recommends eating sources of ALA, including axseed and its oil, due to large epidemiologic studies suggesting that people at risk for coronary heart disease benefit from consuming both plant and marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids may also be important for optimal health. The Institute of Medicine recommends an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 5:1 to 10:1.9 However, this ratio may be as high as 17:1 in Western-type diets.
  • Flax contains more than three times as much omega-3 as omega-6 fatty acids, giving a ratio of only 0.3:1. ALA is the dietary precursor for the longer chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are found in seafood.
  • The rate of ALA conversion varies between individuals and can be impaired by a diet high in omega-6 LA.13 EPA is further metabolized to hormone-like substances called eicosanoids
  • The eicosanoids produced from EPA possess anti-inammatory properties that help protect against CVD, whereas eicosanoids produced from metabolites of LA have pro-inammatory characteristics. Low ALA intake supports the production of omega-6 eicosanoids at the expense of omega-3 eicosanoids, which has negative implications for Cardiovascular health

Flaxseed is a Rich Source of Soluble Fibre and Lignans

    • Flaxseed contains mucilage gums, a type of soluble dietary bre. Increased consumption of soluble bre can reduce the risk of CVD by reducing LDL cholesterol.
    • Soluble bre binds bile acids in the intestine thereby increasing fecal excretion. Since cholesterol is a precursor for bile acids, increased excretion causes decreased circulating cholesterol levels.
    • Soluble fibre may also help to lower serum cholesterol levels as a result of fermentation in the large intestine and production of short-chain fatty acids that lower pH and inhibit cholesterol synthesis. In addition to improving serum lipid levels, dietary fibre lowers blood pressure and reduces inammation to help prevent CVD.
    • The Institute of Medicine has set the Adequate Intake for total dietary fibre at 14 g per 1000 kcal, or about 25 g/day for women and 38 g/day for men. Lignans are phytoestrogens – compounds in plants that possess estrogen-like properties.
    • Flaxseed has up to 800 times more active lignans compared to vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, or seeds. SDG is the major lignan found in  flaxseed.
    • Oxidative stress and inammation contribute to an atherogenic environment that promotes the development of CVD. Flaxseed SDG and its metabolites possess potent antioxidant properties, thereby reducing oxidative stress and protecting against CVD.

Daily intake amount :

The “daily amount” referred to in the claim is 40 g (5 tablespoons) of ground whole flaxseed to be consumed over three eating occasions in the day. An example of the permitted claim for ground flaxseed is: “16 g (2 tablespoons) of ground flaxseed supplies 40% of the daily amount shown to help lower cholesterol”.

In addition to this primary statement, the following additional statements may be used

• Ground (whole) flaxseed helps reduce/lower cholesterol

• High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease

• Ground (whole) flaxseed helps reduce/lower cholesterol, (which is) a risk factor for heart disease Flaxseed has been consumed for centuries due to its desirable avor and nutritional properties.

In recent years, as people have become more concerned about health, demand for axseed in food and beverages has risen dramatically. Scientic research and now regulatory approval supports the heart health benefits of axseed, particularly due to ALA, fibre and lignan contents.

Reference :

Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM Adv. Nutr. 2014: 5: 863S–876

Anderson JW, et al. Nutr Rev 2009;67:188- 2

Indian times health news paper.

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