Flashback Friday: Flax Seeds for Hypertension

Flashback Friday: Flax Seeds for Hypertension


“Flax Seeds for Hypertension” A recent article in the
journal Meat Science acknowledged that a sector of
the population perceives meat as a food that is detrimental to their health because of studies associating meat
consumption with heart disease and cancer. For these reasons, these
meat consumers look for healthier food alternatives
as a means to maintain good health. So, this represents a good opportunity for
the industry to develop some new products. Natural foods could be added to meat
to reach those health-oriented consumers by boosting antioxidants
levels, for example. Foods like flax seeds
and tomatoes are healthy, associated with reduced risks of
cancer and cardiovascular disease. So by making flaxy tomato burgers, they figure they can reduce saturated
fat intake and less sugar somehow? It’s like their flaxseed fed pork
idea to produce “enriched lard.” Wouldn’t it be easier to just cut out the
middle-pig and eat flax seeds ourselves? Flax seeds have been described as a “miraculous
defense against some critical maladies.” Now, I’m a fan of flax, but this
title seemed a bit over exuberant. I figured something just
got lost in translation, but then I saw this study and realized
maybe that title is not too far off. Rarely do we see a dietary
study of this caliber. A prospective, double-blinded,
placebo-controlled, randomized trial— you know how hard that
is in a nutrition study? I mean, for drugs it’s easy: you take two identical looking pills –
one’s active, one’s placebo – and until the end of the study
neither the researcher nor the patient has any idea which is which,
hence double blind. But people tend to notice
what they’re eating. So how do you sneak a quarter
cup of ground flaxseeds into half of peoples’ diets
without them knowing it? They created these various flax
or placebo containing foods, and even added like bran and molasses
to match the color and texture so it was all a big secret
until 6 months later when they broke the code
to see who ate which. Why test it on hypertension? Because having a systolic blood pressure
over 115 – that’s the top number – may be the single most important
determinant for death in the world today. If you take a bunch of older folks, most of them on an array of blood pressure
pills, and don’t improve their diet at all, despite the drugs they may start out, on average,
hypertensive and stay hypertensive 6 months later. But those who were unknowingly
eating ground flaxseeds every day dropped their systolic blood
pressure about 10 points, and their diastolic, the lower
number, by about 7 points. That might not sound like a lot, but a drop like that could cut stroke
risk 46%, heart disease 29%, and that 10-point drop in the top number could have
a similar effect on strokes and heart attacks. And for those that started out
over 140, they got a 15-point drop. In summary, flax seed induced
one of the most potent antihypertensive effects ever
achieved by a dietary intervention. In other words, the magnitude of
this decrease in blood pressure, demonstrated by dietary flax seed, is as good or better than any
other nutritional interventions, and comparable to many drugs, which
can have serious side effects. And they’re not exaggerating
about the comparable to drugs bit. The flax dropped systolic
and diastolic up to 15 and 7. Compare that to powerful
ACE inhibitors like Vasotec, which may only drop
pressures 5 and 2. Calcium channel blockers like
Norvasc or Cardizem, 8 and 3 – half of what the flax could do. And side effects include… Compare this list to that to
the side effect of flaxseeds: its pleasant nutty flavor. During the 6-month trial there were
strokes and heart attacks in both groups. Even if the flax seeds can
cut risk in half, though, any avoidable risk is unacceptable. Well, isn’t high blood pressure
just inevitable as we get older? No, the prevalence of hypertension does increase
dramatically with age, but not for everyone. People who eat more plant-based diets or
keep their salt intake low enough tend not to exhibit any change in
blood pressure with advancing age. So, you know, flax is great, but always better
to prevent the disease in the first place.

37 Replies to “Flashback Friday: Flax Seeds for Hypertension”

  1. haha! pakistan???? seriously? I thought that the can just introduce terrorists….that's so pathetic you refer to this article

  2. So interesting!!… Health and wellness is my passion, thank you for this helpful video 🌿I hope people like my videos as much as I enjoy yours👍💋🌿

  3. I had hemorrhoid and started taking fiber in a tumbler of water every day. Then I decided to add more stuff to it and now add two heaping teaspoons of ground flax to it with some dried blueberries and protein powder. I make it at night and put it in the refrigerator and drink it the next day. A very simple way to get more flax. Just leave a long handled spoon in it to stir it up before drinking. My BP at night is around 110 over 66.

  4. Does this mean we need to eat 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup or about 30 grams) of ground flax per day to get the same benefits as in the study? I try to keep it between 1 and 2 tablespoons, for less fat.

  5. Excellent information to know! I love ground flaxseed, and have been eating it for years now, at least once per day, and sometimes twice daily in my meals. In my sixty-ninth year of life, my blood pressure is lower on average than it ever has been at any other time in my life. After watching your presentation today, I will make sure to eat flaxseed meal twice every day henceforth. Thanks!

  6. I cut salt from my meals for 2 months, then tried adding some again. The food tasted horrible with the added salt – I just couldn't finish my plate! Went back saltless the next day and it was just amazing how tasty the food was once again.

  7. I'm glad that they… put it to the test. I consume flaxseeds daily and I feel great! Cheers from Argentina

  8. Dr greger, could you make a video about frutose in fruit in the afternoon? I've seen people saying that fruit is ok in the morning, bue not in the afternoon because you are already saturated with carbs and then it contributes non-alcoholic fatty liver. I saw your video on frutose in fruit, but in the study about the berries they consumed it fasted…
    Sorry if something is bad written, I'm portuguese

  9. I keep clicking the bell but every time I watch a nutrition facts video I notice the bell hasn't been activated and I click it again, and the cycle continues. Why won't the bell just stay activated? Is anybody else having this issue?

  10. This is right on time. Just was told my blood pressure is normal which normally means I should lower it. I use flax but I’ll use more.

  11. I revere Dr. Greger, but encourage all to learn more about phytohomones, estrogen and testosterone inhibitors. The physiological effects of foods are not touched upon here. Learn more about what it takes to balance your endocrine system with your diet. Be prepared for misinformation.

  12. A follower (thats me) asked me ((thats Martyn Katan studied chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam. He obtained his PhD in molecular biology at the same university in 1977 with Piet Borst.
    ) From 1976 Katan worked at the Agricultural University of Wageningen with the research field "Nutrition and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases". In 1998 he was appointed personal professor of human nutrition there. He held that position until 2006. In 2005, Katan was selected as a leading Wageningen researcher for the Keur de Science project. As part of this project, many of his publications were digitized and Open Access was made. Martijn Katan was also "Nutrition Foundation Professor" at the University of Nijmegen from 1985 to 1998. Between 1998 and 2003 he was scientific director of the "Nutrition and Health" program of the Wageningen Center for Food Sciences.

    do you know www.nutritionfacts.org and what do you think about it, is it reliable? That is the site of Dr. Michael Greger. I think his intentions are good, but it seems to me that he exaggerates many of the effects of food. As far as I can see, he has hardly done any scientific research himself. For a critical look at Greger see https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/death-as-a-foodborne-illn…/ and this was his answer

  13. And a regular fasting routine will reduce blood pressure a lot more than any food. It will also significantly decrease LDL and plummets CRP levels to non-detectable by normal measurement.

  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19568181/….I wish you would comment on the distinctions this study makes on flax and its products in relation to cardiovascular disease

  15. Well researched information brought to you with what is generally insufficient gratitude. Thank you Dr. Greger.

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