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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Flaxseed a Natural Alternative to Cholesterol Drugs

Apr 14, 2011 11:10AM

A new study from Iowa State University's Nutrition and Wellness Research Center may give men a way to combat high cholesterol without drugs—if they don’t mind sprinkling some flaxseed into their daily diet.

In the study, researchers examined the effects of eating flaxseed lignans (natural plant chemicals found in flaxseed) on 90 people diagnosed with high cholesterol. The results showed that consuming at least 150 milligrams per day (about three tablespoons) decreased cholesterol in men by just under 10 percent over the three months of the study. They did not see similar results in women.

Suzanne Hendrich, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the university who led the study, notes that the flaxseed tablets used in the research are not available in the United States, but sprinkling ground flaxseed on cereal and other foods can provide ample cholesterol-lowering flaxseed lignans. Ground flaxseed will oxidize over time, she says, possibly affecting its flavor as well as omega-3 content, so keep it fresh.

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