According to Canadian researchers at the University of Manitoba conducting research at St. Boniface Hospital Research Center, eating flaxseed significantly reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension.
The research team, led by Dr. Grant Pierce, studied the effects of adding 30 grams of milled flaxseed each day for six months on blood pressure of 110 hypertensive patients with peripheral artery disease, a condition strongly associated with high blood pressure. Patients consumed various types of food that collectively contained 30 grams of milled flaxseed each day for six months. Researchers compared their findings to a similar group of people who added a placebo to their diets for the same amount of time.
As a result, the flaxseed group experienced lower systolic blood pressure (by an average 15 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (by an average 8 mm Hg). The placebo group experienced slightly higher systolic blood pressure, while diastolic blood pressure remained the same.
The flaxseed group also experienced significant increase in Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linolenic acid, while the placebo group had no such changes. Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid and fiber in flaxseed may be attributed to the decreased blood pressure in patients of this study.
This research helps people prevent various diseases. According to Dr. Grant Pierce, "The change in blood pressure from flaxseed could result in about a 50 percent reduction of strokes and 30 percent less heart attacks.”