Flaxseed reduces total and LDL cholesterol concentrations in Native American postmenopausal women

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 Apr;17(3):355-66. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2007.0359.


Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the extent to which the daily incorporation of approximately 30 g of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber, for a period of 3 months into the diet of Native American postmenopausal women positively affects their lipid profiles.

Methods: Fifty-five mild to moderately hypercholesterolemic (> or =5.1 to < or =9.8 mmol/L) Native American postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to control (A), flaxseed (B) or flaxseed + additional oat bran fiber (C) groups. Overnight fasting venous blood was collected at baseline and at the end of the treatment period to analyze lipid parameters.

Results: Dietary flaxseed supplementation lowered total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by approximately 7% and 10%, respectively. However, the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride remained unaltered. No changes were observed in other clinical and hematological parameters.

Conclusions: The results of the present study indicate that Native American postmenopausal women benefit from regular consumption of flaxseed by reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease as seen from lowered LDL-C and total cholesterol levels.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / drug effects
  • Female
  • Flax*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / ethnology
  • Indians, North American*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Postmenopause / blood*
  • Postmenopause / ethnology
  • Seeds*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides