Flaxseed for Health and Disease: Review of Clinical Trials

Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2020;23(8):699-722. doi: 10.2174/1386207323666200521121708.


Background: Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) is an oil-based seed that contains high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, lignans, fiber and many other bioactive components which is suggested for a healthier life. Nowadays, flaxseed is known as a remarkable functional food with different health benefits for humans and protects against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity and altogether metabolic syndrome.

Methods: To review the bioactive components of flaxseed and their potential health effects, PubMed and Scopus were searched from commencement to July 2019. Keywords including: "flaxseed", "Linum usitatissimum", "metabolic syndrome", "obesity", "inflammation", "insulin resistance", "diabetes", "hyperlipidemia" and "menopause" were searched in the databases with varying combinations.

Conclusion: Consumption of flaxseed in different forms has valuable effects and protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, inflammation and some other complications. Flaxseed can serve as a promising candidate for the management of metabolic syndrome to control blood lipid levels, fasting blood sugar, insulin resistance, body weight, waist circumference, body mass and blood pressure.

Keywords: Flaxseed; Linum usitatissimum; cardiovascular disease; inflammation; menopause; metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism*
  • Drug Discovery
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Dyslipidemias / metabolism
  • Flax / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lignans / chemistry*
  • Lignans / pharmacology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / chemistry*
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / pharmacology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Lignans
  • Lipids
  • Plant Extracts
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid