Flax Lowers Blood Pressure

December 4, 2012

Research on a vulnerable population shows serious cardio benefits with flaxseed.

A new study on flax and blood pressure could change the perception that consumers know little of flax’s health benefits. The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s 2012 Scientific Sessions.

The Flax Council of Canada reports that 110 subjects with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were assigned to milled flax (30 g daily) in bagels, muffins, and buns or placebo products. After six months, subjects in the flax group experienced statistically significant decreases in systolic blood pressure (10 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (7 mm Hg). When the researchers performed subgroup analysis on just the PAD patients with high blood pressure, results were even better: an estimated 15 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure and a similar drop in diastolic blood pressure.

“This is the largest decrease in blood pressure ever shown by any dietary intervention, including the Mediterranean Diet and low-sodium diets,” said lead researcher Grant Pierce, PhD, of St. Boniface Hospital (Winnipeg, MB, Canada). “We expect that this kind of improvement in people with hypertension could reduce their incidence of heart attack and stroke by 50%.”

Flax for the study was provided by Glanbia Nutritionals.