High dose flaxseed oil supplementation may affect fasting blood serum glucose management in human type 2 diabetics

J Oleo Sci. 2008;57(5):269-73. doi: 10.5650/jos.57.269.


Type 2 diabetes is characterized partially by elevated fasting blood serum glucose and insulin concentrations and the percentage of hemoglobin as HbA1c. It was hypothesized that each of blood glucose and its co-factors insulin and HbA1c and would show a more favorable profile as the result of flaxseed oil supplementation. Patients were recruited at random from a population pool responding to a recruitment advertisement in the local newspaper and 2 area physicians. Completing the trial were 10 flaxseed oil males, 8 flaxseed oil females, 8 safflower (placebo) oil males and 6 safflower oil females. Patients visited on two pre-treatment occasions each three months apart (visits 1 and 2). At visit 2 subjects were randomly assigned in double blind fashion and in equal gender numbers to take flaxseed oil or safflower oil for three further months until visit 3. Oil consumption in both groups was approximately 10 g/d. ALA intake in the intervention group was approximately 5.5 g/d. Power was 0.80 to see a difference of 1 mmol of glucose /L using 12 subjects per group with a p < 0.05. Flaxseed oil had no impact on fasting blood serum glucose, insulin or HbA1c levels. It is concluded that high doses of flaxseed oil have no effect on glycemic control in type 2 diabetics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fasting / blood*
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Linseed Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Linseed Oil / chemistry
  • Linseed Oil / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Safflower Oil / administration & dosage
  • Safflower Oil / chemistry
  • Safflower Oil / pharmacology
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids
  • Insulin
  • Placebos
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Safflower Oil
  • Linseed Oil