Flaxseed is a source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Taken before a meal, flaxseed seems to make people feel less hungry, so that they might eat less food. The fiber in the coating binds with cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from being absorbed. Flaxseed also may make platelets, the blood cells involved in clotting, less prone to forming blockages.
A recent study suggests it may also help lower blood pressure (BP). 30g of miller flaxseed for each day for 6 months produced 15/7 mmHg drop in BP. The study was only in 110 patients so don’t throw away your pills just yet.
This analysis of previous studies suggests that angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) and probably angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) protect the kidney more, but can’t be proven to make you live longer, than other blood pressure drugs. Betablockers again don’t look to be the right choice with a strong signal to worsen mortality rates.
The Minerva “fun” section at the end of our trade mag the BMJ often has titbits from other journals. Like Minerva I love statins as safe effective drugs to prevent heart attacks and strokes. But she highlights a study suggesting reduced risk of death from prostrate cancer and another suggesting reduced recurrent blood clots if you have already had a DVT or PE. Wow. My recommendations will only become more vociferous.