Flaxseed Lowers Blood Pressure

A new study found that ground flaxseed powerfully lowers blood pressure:

A patient population with peripheral artery disease (PAD) was selected as ideal to benefit from dietary flaxseed. . . . Patients received 30g of milled flaxseed (or placebo) each day over 6 months. [I eat  50 g/day — Seth] . . . No significant adverse events were associated with flaxseed ingestion. . . . SBP in the placebo group increased by ~3 mmHg and DBP remained the same over the experimental period. However, SBP levels were ~10 mmHg lower (P<0.04) and DBP was ~8 mmHg lower (P<0.004) in the flax group compared to placebo. In the flaxseed group, patients with a SBP <140 mmHg at baseline did not receive an anti-hypertensive effect but patients who entered the trial with a SBP > 140 mmHg at baseline obtained a sustained and significant 15 and 7 mmHg reduction in SBP and DBP, respectively, during the six months. . . . one of the most potent anti-hypertensive effects ever observed by a dietary intervention.

This supports my belief that we can improve our overall health by trying to improve our brains (which are more sensitive than the rest of the body). I have blogged about flaxseed oil many times. I became interested in it when I noticed it improved my balance. Balance measurements showed that the optimal dose  (2-4 T/day) was higher than flaxseed oil manufacturers suggested.  Then I and others noticed that taking this amount of flaxseed oil produced big improvements in gum health. Tyler Cowen, for example, no longer needed gum surgery. Go home, said the surgeon.

Thanks to Grace Liu.

Omega-3 Greatest Hits

My main posts about omega-3 are:

why I became interested
historical background
the Israeli Paradox
fat and anesthesia
the clouded crystal ball
omega-3 and cancer
unclear effects on heart disease
prison experiment

equipment to measure balance
new measures
how best to measure balance
a new test
better measures
hand placement
letter-counting test
circle test

practice effects
balance experiment (high-omega-3 fats vs low-omega-3 fat)
arithmetic (guest post)
arithmetic (continued)
first results with new measures
time-of-day effect
what’s the best dose?
flaxseed oil vs. olive oil (balance)
flaxseed oil vs. olive oil (memory-scanning)
flaxseed oil vs. olive oil (digit span)
flaxseed oil vs. nothing (balance)
flaxseed oil vs. nothing (arithmetic)
a surprise
time course (1st try)
time course (2nd try, plus egg surprise)
time course (very short experiment)
time course (circle test)
flaxseed oil: 2 T/day vs. 1 T/day (arithmetic test)

sleep effect?
placebo effect?
overall discussion
source of injury-causing falls?
what the results mean
gum surgery cancelled
dental health
sports injuries (part 1)
sports injuries (part 2)
sports injuries (part 3)
sports injuries (part 4)

Overall Summary
abstract of conference talk