Posts Tagged ‘benefits of flaxseed’

Diets High in Nutrients such as Omega 3 May Help Prevent Alzheimers Disease.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked specific vitamins and nutrients in the diet with cognitive performance and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Time Healthland reports:

“The research, published in the journal Neurology, showed that people with healthier diets — rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of vitamins — had bigger brains and better cognitive function than those whose diets were unhealthier on the whole.

Many previous surveys of people have found that those who report diets high in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids have slower rates of cognitive decline, compared with people whose diets are lower in these nutrients. But when researchers have conducted randomized trials with elderly patients, giving specific supplements to some and placebos to others, the association between the nutrients and intellectual abilities like memory, language, reasoning and planning fell apart.

Part of the problem, says Gene Bowman, a nutritional epidemiologist at Oregon Health & Science University, is that the participants in these observational studies were asked to remember what they ate by answering questionnaires. But if the primary outcome was to measure their cognitive abilities, including memory and recall, the studies were clearly flawed — how reliable could the volunteers’ answers be, if they were suffering from cognitive decline?

So Bowman and his colleagues came up with a way to address that fault. They conducted the first study to use an objective measure of dietary nutrient content: by measuring levels in the blood. The study involved 104 people, who were elderly (average age 87) but relatively healthy. Researchers analyzed their blood for a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins B, C, D and E, saturated fat, carotenoids, omega-3 fatty acids, cholesterol and trans fats. Then they compared those levels to participants’ performance on cognitive tests as well as MRI scans looking at differences in the size of certain brain structures related to Alzheimer’s.

The team found that people who had higher blood levels of vitamins B, C, D and E and omega-3 fatty acids scored higher on the mental-function tests, including attention tasks and visual and spatial skills, than those with lower levels of these nutrients. People who had higher levels of trans fats in their blood, by contrast, scored lower on these tests; they took more time overall to complete the tests and had more trouble with memory and language skills.

Omega-3s and vitamin D are found primarily in fish, while vitamins B, C and E are high in fruits and vegetables. Trans fats come largely from packaged, fried, frozen and fast foods, along with baked goods and margarine spreads.

When the scientists took into account known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease — age, gender and genetic mutations — they found that these factors were responsible for 46% of the difference in participants’ cognitive scores. In other words, people who were older and had the APOE4 gene mutation that is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s, were more likely to score lower on cognitive tests than younger participants who didn’t have the genetic mutation.

When Bowman’s group added in the effect of participants’ diet, however, they found that their nutritional profiles explained another 17% of the variation in cognitive scores.

The researchers then looked at the size of specific brain structures on the MRI. Known Alzheimer’s risk factors accounted for about 40% of the difference in cognitive scores between those with normal-size brains and those with smaller brain volumes, while diet explained another 37% of the variance. Brain size normally shrinks with age, but with Alzheimer’s disease, that shrinkage is accelerated — a sign that the condition is getting worse. “That means that diet, plus known risk factors, explained a total of 76% of the variance,” says Bowman. “That tells us that imaging and structural changes in the brain may be very sensitive to dietary intake. So imaging may actually have a greater power to detect relationships between diet and cognitive decline than tests of mental skills. That’s quite remarkable.”

It’s possible, then, that clinicians may someday use brain scans to identify brain-size changes — and cognitive decline — attributable to deficiencies in certain nutrients or supplements. This is the first study to objectively measure the potential association between diet and brain aging, however, so further research is needed to confirm the connection.

It’s also the first study to capture the combined effect of a variety of nutrients on the brain. Previous studies that have focused only on single nutrients may have failed to detect an effect because nutrients may work together to protect brain functions from the effects of aging or disease.

The study also opens up the possibility that we may be able to use individualized dietary treatments to enhance whatever aspects of brain function — memory, attention or higher learning — are declining fastest. For example, Bowman found that participants in the study who had higher levels of vitamins B, C, D and E did not have problems with memory, but did show trouble with attention and visual-spatial tasks, while those with higher levels of carotenoids (found in carrots and dark leafy green vegetables) also showed fewer problems with memory.

“It’s a platform for individualized nutritional therapy,” he says. “We’re already seeing different nutritional patterns associated with different cognitive domains, so not only does this help us understand the role of diet in brain aging, but also how we might individualize nutritional therapy to enhance brain function as we age.”

By Alice Park via Time Healthland, December 29, 2011.

Original article:

Bowman is a naturopathic doctor and an assistant professor in the OHSU Brain Institute’s Department of Neurology. OHSU co-authors in the study included Joseph Quinn, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Neurology and Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D., M.P.H., an associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Bowman conducts research at The C. Rex and Ruth H. Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). The Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center is integrated around the activities of the Oregon Alzheimer Disease Center (OADC), one of 30 national centers funded by the National Institute of Aging. The OADC ranks among the top centers nationally. The OADC is at the forefront of a worldwide effort to discover the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, find effective treatments, and improve the quality of life for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”

Nushie’s Natural flaxseed crackers and Nushie’s Natural Chia crackers are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and have a high mineral and fibre content. With no preservatives are artificial additives, they are dehydrated and not cooked, thereby maintaining the goodness of the natural ingredients. Try them they are delicious.

Flaxseeds can reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels

Friday, November 4th, 2011

We all know that flaxseeds have wonderful health benefits, now they just keep getting better. Natural News reports that flaxseeds can reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
“Bringing flaxseeds into your diet will definitely bring you good fortune, restore health, and protect you from the evils that your own body can produce.

There is a little gender-related controversy regarding the lowering of cholesterol levels via flaxseed consumption. In a study conducted by ISU professor Suzanne Hendrich of Iowa State University’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center (NWRC), it was found that men’s cholesterol levels can fall much faster than that of a woman’s, upon the consumption of about 150 milligrams of flaxseeds (about three tablespoons) a day.

The study, which included 90 people of both genders, took place over a span of three months and looked at patients that all had high levels of cholesterol but no other underlying health-related conditions. According to Professor Hendrich, it is the flaxseed ‘lignans’ – a plant-based chemical compound group known for its protective health properties – that is responsible for helping lower cholesterol levels. “There are certainly some people who would prefer not to use a drug,” Hendrich says, “but rather use foods to maintain their health. This potentially would be something to consider.” Hendrich believes that where men in particular are concerned, the properties in flaxseeds make it a wonderful natural, long-term alternative for those who would rather opt for nature than drugs.

This doesn’t mean that women should despair however. In another significant study conducted, women who added as little as 50 grams of ground flaxseed to their daily diets for four weeks were shown to have lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 18%, without touching the HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Gene Bruno, Dean of Academics at Huntington College of Health Sciences, wrote in his 2008 article that flaxseed research has also shown major serum lipid level reduction by about 8% – an effect traditionally achieved through the consumption of fish oils.

In another study involving only female volunteers and the consumption of 50 grams of flaxseed for a month, serum lipid levels went down by about 9%. Bruno also states that the lignans in flaxseeds have been found to possess anti-platelet activating properties – essential in preventing platelets in the bloodstream from clumping, rupturing, and creating harmful clots that can lead to heart-attacks and strokes, making flaxseed a premium health option.

Adding flaxseeds to your daily diet is not only highly beneficial for your health, but also very easy. Sprinkling a spoon or two of either whole or ground flaxseeds daily on your food will give you not only a good dose of omega-3 fats, but also both soluble and insoluble fiber – as well as will regulate your cholesterol levels.”

Try Nushie’s Natural organic flaxseed crackers. They are fabulous source of flaxseed and very tasty. Being dehydrated and not cooked they retain the benefits of the flaxseeds.

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Flax Seeds: The Health Benefits keep Coming: Recent Study shows Flax Seeds Help Recovery After Radiation Exposure.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

New research from the University of Philadelphia USA has revealed that flaxseed may offer radiation protection. Flaxseed is well known for its strong antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. The current research from the Perelman School of Medicine shows that flaxseed protects healthy tissues before and significantly reduces damage after exposure to radiation.

The published study was based on a trial using mice to explore Flax seed’s ability to protect lung tissue prior to radiation exposure and to repair damaged tissue after radiation exposure.

Trials involving humans have commenced.

Co-author Keith Cengel, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn, explains that in cases of nuclear disaster, “a big issue is the ‘worried well’ — all the folks who probably weren’t exposed but are concerned and want to do something.” Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou adds, “But this is absolutely safe. In fact, it is known to increase cardiovascular health, a finding shown by another group of Penn investigators a few years ago. It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.”

Along with other researchers, the authors are conducting further pilot studies on the potential of flaxseed for mitigation of lung damage in patients awaiting lung transplants and those undergoing radiation therapy, as well as astronauts exposed to radiation in outerspace.

The researchers are already convinced enough to incorporate flaxseed into their own routine. “I actually eat it every morning,” says Dr. Cengel, noting, “The potential health benefits are significant and there is no known toxicity—it just makes good sense to me.”

Radiation is everywhere and it accumulates. One only has to think of Fukishimo and other disasters to see the huge potential of Flax seed protecting humans from radiation accumulation.

In its originally harvested form flax seed is not easily digested , that is why most people take it as an oil. However recently growers have learnt that if they roll the flax seeds they can crush the outer shell which is hard to break down by our digestive system and protect the oil bearing inner membrane and all its natural nutrients. This process allows the flaxseed to be easily digested.

A great way to take flax seed is eating Nushie’s Natural Flaxseed Crackers. They are made from rolled organic seeds, mixed with flavoursome natural ingredients such as cayenne pepper, soy tamari, onion and garlic and dehydrated to retain the flax seeds nutitious value. They are a delicious savory snack and just happen to be healthy and rich in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.


Flaxseed Shown To Protect Against Harmful Effects Of Radiation And Is Crucial For The Development Of The Brain And Nervous System.

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Flaxseed has been shown to have many health benefits. It is rich in fibre, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. Its combination of healthy fat and high fibre content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance — many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied.
Flaxseed is also rich in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese.

2 new recent studies have shown further health benefits of flaxseed.

In the first study reported by Science daily (August 9 2011) researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that it might have a new use for the 21st century: protecting healthy tissues and organs from the harmful effects of radiation.
As reported by Science Daily “In a study just published in BMC Cancer, researchers found that a diet of flaxseed given to mice not only protects lung tissues before exposure to radiation, but can also significantly reduce damage after exposure occurs.”

“There are only a handful of potential mitigators of radiation effect, and none of them is nearly ready for the clinic,” says the principal investigator Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, PhD, research associate professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division. “Our current study demonstrates that dietary flaxseed, already known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, works as both a mitigator and protector against radiation pneumonopathy.”

Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou and her colleagues found that the flaxseed diet conferred substantial benefits regardless of whether it was initiated before or after irradiation. Mice on flaxseed displayed improved survival rates and mitigation of radiation pneumonitis, with increased blood oxygenation levels, higher body weight, lower pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and greatly reduced pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis.

The latter finding is especially exciting, because while radiation-induced inflammatory damage can be potentially treated with steroidal therapy (in radiotherapy patients for example), lung fibrosis is essentially untreatable. “There’s nothing you can give to patients to prevent fibrosis,” Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou points out. “Once a lung becomes “stiff” from collagen deposition, it’s irreversible. We have discovered that flaxseed not only prevents fibrosis, but it also protects after the onset of radiation damage.”
Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou and her colleagues are focusing further research on the bioactive lignan component of flaxseed, known as SDG (secoisolariciresinol diglucoside), which is believed to confer its potent antioxidant properties. The lignan component also “regulates the transcription of antioxidant enzymes that protect and detoxify carcinogens, free radicals and other damaging agents,” she says.

Flaxseed boasts many other qualities that make it particularly attractive as a radioprotector and mitigator. “Flaxseed is safe, it’s very cheap, it’s readily available, there’s nothing you have to synthesize,” Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou notes. “It can be given orally so it has a very convenient administration route. It can be packaged and manufactured in large quantities. Best of all, you can store it for very long periods of time.” That makes it especially interesting to government officials looking to stockpile radioprotective substances in case of accidental or terrorist-caused radiological disasters.

Co-author Keith Cengel, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn, explains that in such cases, “a big issue is the ‘worried well’ — all the folks who probably weren’t exposed but are concerned and want to do something.” Many potential radioprotectors, however, could have risky side effects. Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou adds, “When you give something to 4 or 5 million ‘worried well,’ you have people with preexisting medical conditions. You can’t give just anything to people with heart disease, for example. But this is absolutely safe. In fact, it is known to increase cardiovascular health, a finding shown by another group of Penn investigators a few years ago. It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.”

Along with other researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, the authors are conducting further pilot studies on the potential of flaxseed for mitigation of lung damage in patients awaiting lung transplants and those undergoing radiation therapy for the treatment of intra-thoracic malignancies. Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou is even conducting a pilot study for NASA on the benefits of flaxseed for astronauts on extended deep space missions. Lengthy space exploration missions require that the astronauts perform extravehicular activities (EVAs) for repairs, during which they can face exposure to high levels of solar and galactic radiation with the added risk factor of breathing 100 percent oxygen. “Hyperoxia superimposed with radiation could potentially cause some lung damage and some reason to worry for the astronauts,” she says. “We are one of a handful of teams in the US that can study radiation in addition to hyperoxia. So now we’re adding another level of complexity to the one-hit, radiation damage studies; the double-hit model is something novel, nobody has done it before.”

The researchers are already convinced enough to incorporate flaxseed into their own routine. “I actually eat it every morning,” says Dr. Cengel, noting, “The potential health benefits are significant and there is no known toxicity — it just makes good sense to me.”

The second study shows that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as flax seed and chia produce children that are much healthier and less prone to sickness.

Research has shown that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids aids the development and maintenance of the nervous system in young children (, but a new study published in the journal Pediatrics adds to this, having found that pregnant women who supplement with Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) during their pregnancies produce children that are much healthier and less prone to sickness than those born to women who do not supplement with, or otherwise consume enough, DHA.

As Natural Health reports “Dr. Usha Ramakrishnan, associate professor at Emory University’s Hubert Department of Global Health, and her team conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 1,100 pregnant women and 900 infants from Mexico. Some women received 400 milligrams (mg) of DHA, while others received aplacebo, during the 18 to 22 weeks of gestation through childbirth.

After all the women eventually gave birth,children born to mothers in the DHA group experienced less overall sickness, and shorter duration of sickness. Some of the results are as follows:

-At one month of age, babies from the DHA group were 25 percent less likely to catch a cold or have a cough with phlegm or wheezing.

-At three months of age, babies from the DHA group experienced 14 percent less illness time than those from the placebo group.

-And at six months, DHA babies had less fevers, nasal secretions, breathing problems, and rashes than babies from the control group.

“This is a large scale, robust study that underscores the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy,” remarked Ramakrishnan. “Our findings indicate that pregnant women taking 400 mg of DHA are more likely to deliver healthier infants.”

The form of DHA used in the study was derived from algae, which is not necessarily an ideal form. In some cases, companies are actually using genetically-modified (GM) algae to createomega-3oils. Monsanto is even working on gaining FDA approval for a GM soybean that artificially producesomega-3s, which is why it is important to know the source of your omega-3s before consuming them.

DHA, as well as the entire gamut of omega-3s that includes arachidonic acid (ARA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), can be found in natural foods like grass-fed meats, salmon, flax, and hemp. They can also be found from high-quality fish and cod liver oils,.”

A fabulous source of flaxseed and chia which is also high in omega-3 fatty acids are Nushie’s Natural Organic Flaxseed and Chia Crackers. These are delicious and being dehydrated and not cooked or processed in any way retain the natural nutrients of the seeds. The flaxseed is rolled so that it is readily digested.


Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, Sonia Tyagi, Kay-See Tan, Sarah Hagan, Ralph Pietrofesa, Floyd Dukes, Evguenia Arguiri, Daniel F Heitjan, Charalambos C Solomides, Keith A Cengel. Dietary flaxseed administered post thoracic radiation treatment improves survival and mitigates radiation-induced pneumonopathy in mice. BMC Cancer, 2011; 11 (1): 269 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-269

Science Daily 9 August…

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