Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are an increasing health problem all over the world. The search for natural hypolipidemic agents that can be used besides the synthetic drugs is still in its experimental stage. Plant seeds, particularly flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum), which is a rich source of n-3 fatty acids, lignans and phenolic compounds, have also received increasing attention for their potential role in preventing lipid disorders. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the therapeutic potential of flaxseeds in dyslipidemia.
Methods: The study included 50 dyslipidemic subjects selected by purposive random sampling and were divided into two groups, a control and an experimental group. Both the groups were prescribed similar dietary guidelines. Subjects in the experimental group received 30 g of roasted flaxseed powder for 3 months. Anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, and blood lipid profile were estimated before the study and after completion of the study.
Results: Flaxseed supplementation resulted in a remarkable improvement in anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, and lipid profile in the experimental group. Body weight and body mass index (BMI) of the experimental group were significantly reduced (p < 0.01). A lowering of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.05) was also recorded in the dyslipidemic subjects. Concomitantly, a highly significant reduction (p < 0.01) in total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), and very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (VLDL-C) levels, with simultaneous elevation (p < 0.01) in high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels was observed. Improvement in lipid levels resulted in reduction of atherogenic indices.
Conclusions: The supplementation of roasted flaxseed powder for 3 months improved the BMI, blood pressure, and lipid profile of dyslipidemic subjects, thus exhibiting cardio protective effect.