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Flaxseed Shown to Reduce Blood Pressure

In what researchers believe may be the largest drop in blood pressure as a result of a dietary intervention, a recent study shows that eating flaxseed-fortified baked goods could reduce systolic blood pressure (top number in a reading) by 10 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) by 7 mmHg.

Participants in the study with hypertension had an even greater reduction in systolic blood pressure; 15 mmHg. The researchers estimate that this improvement in blood pressure in people with hypertension could reduce the incidence of stroke and heart attack by 50%.

110 individuals with peripheral artery disease participated in the study. Peripheral artery disease occurs when the arteries to the extremities become narrow or blocked.

Over the course of one year, half of the group ate bagels, muffins or buns that were fortified with 30 grams of milled flaxseed. The other half ate similarly flavored placebo products.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) and was presented at the November American Heart Association 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Flaxseed fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, improved skin health, preventing stroke, and reducing the risk of developing diabetes. You can increase your flaxseed intake by adding a little to your morning cereal or by taking a high quality supplement.

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