Flaxseed can lower cholesterol in men

March 29, 2010 at 11:57 PM

AMES, Iowa, March 29 (UPI) -- Eating about three tablespoons of flaxseed for three months decreased cholesterol in men, but not women, by about 10 percent, U.S. researcher say.

Study leader Suzanne Hendrich, a professor in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University's Nutrition and Wellness Research Center, examined the effects of flaxseed lignan in 90 people diagnosed with high cholesterol.

Hendrich says the expected outcome from cholesterol-lowering drugs is approximately 10 percent to 20 percent, but the flaxseed outcome is still a reasonable more natural outcome for some men.

"Because there are people who can't take something like Lipitor, this could at least give you some of that cholesterol-lowering benefit," Hendrich says in a statement.

"The other thing is, there are certainly some people who would prefer to not use a drug, but rather use foods to try to maintain their health. So this potentially would be something to consider."

Hendrich, graduate student Kai Ling Kong and doctoral graduates Zhong Ye, Xianai Wu and Sun-Ok Lee are scheduled to present the results at the American Society for Nutrition's annual meeting at Experimental Biology, April 24-28, in Anaheim, Calif.

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