Saturday, December 24, 2011

Flaxseeds ( Linum usitatissimum) Health Benefits and Side Effects

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Flax seed
Flax seed is native to the region of the eastern Mediterranean to India and also known as common flax or linseed. Flax is an erect annual plant, it can grow to 1.2 m tall. The leaves are 20–40 mm long and 3 mm broad.

Nutritional Supplement
1. Energy
2. Carbohydrates
3. Sugars
4. Dietary fiber
5. Omega 3 fatty acid
6. Protein
7. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
8. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
9. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
10. Pantothenic acid (B5)
11. Vitamin B6
12. Folate (Vit. B9)
13. Vitamin C
14. Calcium
15. Iron
16. Magnesium
17. Phosphorus
18. Potassium
19. Zinc
20. Manganese
21.Copper
22. Etc.

Health Benefits
A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Diabetes and its complication
In the investigation of
Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture and its effect on diabetes found that Diet supplemented with Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture ameliorated the antioxidant enzymes activities observed in diabetic rats and significantly decreased MDA levels. Kidney histological sections, showed glomerular hypertrophy and tubular dilatation. In DMS rats, these histopathological changes were less prominent, according to "Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture ameliorates diabetic nephropathy in rats" by Makni M, Sefi M, Fetoui H, Garoui el M, Gargouri NK, Boudawara T, Zeghal N.(a)

2.
Hyperlipidemia
In the
examination of the effects of flax and sesame seeds mixture on Hyperlipidemia
found that Diet supplemented with flax and sesame seeds mixture in pregnant diabetic rats ameliorated lipid parameters, antioxidant enzyme activities, level of reduced glutathione and significantly decreased malonaldialdehyde levels, according to "Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid prevents hyperlipidemia and hepatic oxidant status in pregnant diabetic rats and their macrosomic offspring" by Makni M, Sefi M, Garoui el M, Fetoui H, Boudawara T, Zeghal N.(b)

3.
Hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects
In the evaluation of
a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids of Flax and pumpkin seedsand theirs anti-atherogenic and hepatoprotective activities. found that flax and pumpkin seed mixture had anti-atherogenic and hepatoprotective effects which were probably mediated by unsaturated fatty acids present in seed mixture, according to "Hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of flax and pumpkin seed mixture rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hypercholesterolemic rats" by Makni M, Fetoui H, Gargouri NK, Garoui el M, Jaber H, Makni J, Boudawara T, Zeghal N.(c)

4. Cardiovascular diseases
In the research of
Flaxseed and its effect on cardiovascular risk found that flaxseed can modestly reduce serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, reduce postprandial glucose absorption, decrease some markers of inflammation, and raise serum levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and eicosapentaenoic acid. Data on the antiplatelet, antioxidant, and hypotensive effects of flaxseed, however, are inconclusive. More research is needed to define the role of this functional food in reducing cardiovascular risk, according to "Flaxseed and cardiovascular risk' by Bloedon LT, Szapary PO.(d)

5.
Hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis
In the evaluation of
Flaxseed (Type I flaxseed) and CDC-flaxseed (Type II flaxseed) and theirs effect onhypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis found that Type II flaxseed reduced the development of atherosclerosis by 69%, according to "Reduction of hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis by CDC-flaxseed with very low alpha-linolenic acid" by Prasad K, Mantha SV, Muir AD, Westcott ND.(e)

6. Anti-
hormono-dependant cancers
In the observation of Flax lignans belonging to the phytoestrogens, metabolised after ingestion into enterolignans and its protective effect against the onset and development of hormono-dependant cancers found that in vitro studies based on mammalian cellular models tend to confirm their beneficial effects observed during epidemiological studies and give us insights about their mechanisms of action, according to "[Interest of lignans in prevention and treatment of cancers].[Article in French]" by Lamblin F, Hano C, Fliniaux O, Mesnard F, Fliniaux MA, Lainé E.(f)

7. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Omega 3 fatty acids
Besides well known for its benefits for the maintenance of a healthy cardio-vascular system, according to the study of "Omega-3 Fatty acids for cardiovascular disease prevention" by Defilippis AP, Blaha MJ, Jacobson TA, posted in PubMed(I) and proper ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid and prevent blood clotting, it also extends the portion of your cycle in which you are fertile, by promoting natural ovulation, according tothe study of "Postpartum ovarian activity in multiparous Holstein cows treated with bovine somatotropin and fed n-3 fatty acids in early lactation" by Carriquiry M, Dahlen CR, Weber WJ, Lamb GC, Crooker BA., posted in pubMed (II)

2. Manganese
It is one of important trace in preventing osteoporosis, according to the study of "[Study of estrogen deficiency impact on manganese levels in teeth and mandible of rats after ovariectomy]. [Article in Polish]" by Rahnama M, Błoniarz J, Zareba S, Swiatkowski W.(III)and regulating blood sugar level, according to the study of "[An inadequate intake of manganese may favour insulin resistance in girls]. [Article in Spanish]" by Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Bermejo LM, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM.(IV)

3. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 beside is important supplement used to treat
inflammatory diseases, according to ""Protective role of benfotiamine, a fat-soluble vitamin B1 analogue, in lipopolysaccharide-induced cytotoxic signals in murine macrophages" by Yadav UC, Kalariya NM, Srivastava SK, Ramana KV.,(IVa), but also p;revent the risk of diabetic complication, according to "The potential role of thiamine (vitamin B1) in diabetic complications" by Thornalley PJ.(IVb)

4. Dietary fiber
Daily intake of right amount of fibers can prvent and treata. Diabetes, as Increased consumption of vegetables, whole grains, and soluble and insoluble fiber is associated with improved glucose metabolism in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. Improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis were more evident in participants following a plant-based diet compared with other commonly used diets, according to the study of "Efficacy of high-fiber diets in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus" by Wolfram T, Ismail-Beigi F.(V)

5. Magnesium
Magnesium not only important for bone health, according to the study of "Magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium levels in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Can magnesium play a key role in osteoporosis?" by Odabasi E, Turan M, Aydin A, Akay C, Kutlu M(VI) but also play and important role in protecting against Alzheimer's disease, according to the study of "Altered ionized magnesium levels in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease" by Barbagallo M, Belvedere M, Di Bella G, Dominguez LJ.(VII)

6. Tryptophan
Tryptophan is one of the 10 essential amino acids which the body uses to synthesize the proteins for brain cells need, thus enhancing the nerve cells in information transmitting between themselves and cells in the parts of the body that reduces the risk of anxiety and depression, according to the study of "The effects of tryptophan depletion on neural responses to emotional words in remitted depression" by Roiser JP, Levy J, Fromm SJ, Nugent AC, Talagala SL, Hasler G, Henn FA, Sahakian BJ, Drevets WC.(VIII)

7. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Menstrual cramps and pain
Since flaxseed contains high amount of Omega 3 fatty acid, it promotes the proper ratio of Omega 6 fatty acid that reduces the abnormal cramps and pain caused by over production of prostaglandin hormone.

2.
Diabetes
Flax contains high levels of lignans, which are natural compounds that help to improve the levels of glucose by by increasing glucose disposal rates and enhancing hepatic insulin sensitivity by working as a PPAR-γ agonist in type-2 diabetic rats., according to "The lignan-rich fractions of Fructus Schisandrae improve insulin sensitivity via the PPAR-γ pathways in in vitro and in vivo studies" by Kwon DY, Kim da S, Yang HJ, Park S(1)

3. Natural Laxative
Flaxseed contains high amount of insoluble fibers that combine with water to soften stool, induce bowel movement that helps to enhance the excretion of feces from the colon to prevent constipation, according to "Fiber and starchy foods: gut function and implications in disease" by Jenkins DJ, Jenkins AL, Wolever TM, Rao AV, Thompson LU.(2)

4. Free radicals
Flax seed contains a high amount of antioxidant that helps to guard the body from forming of free radicals by promoting the proper DNA replication and cells division, according to "Free radicals, metals and antioxidants in oxidative stress-induced cancer" by Valko M, Rhodes CJ, Moncol J, Izakovic M, Mazur M.(3)

5. Heart diseases
High amount Omega 3 fatty acid also helps to treat for people with varicose veins, due to EPA and DHA by stimulating blood flow, increasing the breakdown of fibrin, a compound involved in clot and scar formation, according to "Reduced thrombin formation and altered fibrin clot properties induced by polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids on top of dual antiplatelet therapy in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (OMEGA-PCI clot)" by Gajos G, Zalewski J, Rostoff P, Nessler J, Piwowarska W, Undas A.(4)

6. Etc.

Side Effect
1. flax seed may cause less effectiveness of certain oral medications and upset hormonal balance if it is eaten a large amount.
2. Etc.

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Sources

(a) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20570704
(b) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21458299
(c) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18938206
(d) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14995053
(e) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9543108
(f) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18466729

(I) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20842560
(II) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Postpartum%20ovarian%20activity%20in%20multiparous%20Holstein%20cows%20treated%20with%20bovine%20somatotropin%20and%20fed%20n-3%20fatty%20acids%20in%20early%20lactation
(III) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12870295
(IV) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22072339
(IVa) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219672
(IVb) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18220605
(VI) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22009132
(VII) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21951617
(VIII) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539268

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21440615
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3020970
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16430879
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21617138

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