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Impressive Antihypertensive Effect With Flaxseed
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billh99 posted:
Rodriguez explained that the trial, FLAX-PAD, was conducted in PAD patients because they happened to have a clinic for the disease in their center and, as around 75% of PAD patients have concomitant hypertension, "it was an easy population to study."
Subgroup analyses of only the PAD patients with hypertension showed a greater reduction in SBP, of about 15 mm Hg, in these patients than in the study population as a whole and a similar reduction in DBP, he noted.
"Flaxseed represents a particularly attractive strategy for controlling hypertension in economically disadvantaged communities and countries, and its BP-lowering effects compare favorably with those of antihypertensive drugs and lifestyle modifications, such as a low-salt diet and weight loss," he noted.
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Rodriguez said that he and his colleagues chose to study flaxseed because animal studies have shown it has antiatherogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiarrhythmic effects and may reduce circulating cholesterol and trans-fatty acid levels.
They randomized 110 patients with PAD and an ankle-brachial index (ABI) <0.9 to milled flaxseed (30 g/day) in the form of bagels, muffins, and buns (n=58) or placebo products (n=52), made from wheat with a similar flavor, for one year.
Baseline characteristics were similar between the two groups, with hypertension being highly prevalent--around three-quarters of the PAD patients had high blood pressure, and 80% were taking antihypertensive medications. BP measurements were based on an average of three readings taken in the sitting position with a mercury sphygmomanometer by a trained nurse.

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"Flaxseed has different components, including alpha-linolenic acid, enterolignans, and fiber, and all have been shown to decrease BP. We think we are seeing a synergistic effect of different compounds," he commented.



A year long followup is in the works.
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