Flaxseed supplements help reduce blood pressure

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in the journal Clinical Nutrition has found that flaxseed supplements can have a positive effect on blood pressure.

The research was led by Sorin Ursoniu of The Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Romania, and looked at 15 RCTs (comprising 19 treatment arms) with a total of 1,302 participants.

The researchers discovered significant reductions in both systolic blood pressure (by 2.85mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (by 2.39mmHg) following supplementation with flaxseed products.

They wrote that the results may be valuable for the hypertension management using nutraceuticals, since the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation Study demonstrated that a 3.3/1.4mmHg reduction was associated with a 22% decline of relative risk of cardiovascular mortality.

“The differences between the types of flaxseed supplement on BP (significant reduction of SBP with flaxseed powder, but not with oil and lignan extract, and significant reduction of DBP with powder and oil preparations, but not with lignan extract), might be explained by some different qualities of flaxseed supplements: the quantity of fibres, the ability to induce viscosity and the effects on the bile acid metabolism,” wrote the researchers.

The researchers concluded that further research was required to study the ideal quantity of flaxseed in hypertensive patients before strong conclusions could be achieved.