J Cardiovasc Thorac Res., 2019., 11(2):152-160. doi: 10.15171/jcvtr.2019.26.

Effect of flaxseed oil supplementation on anthropometric and metabolic indices in patients with coronary artery disease: A double-blinded randomized controlled trial.

Saleh-Ghadimi S Kheirouri S Golmohammadi A et al.


Introduction: It has been established that omega 3 fatty acids have cardio-protective effects through modulation of cardiometabolic risk factors via multiple mechanisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of flaxseed oil on anthropometric indices and lipid profile in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed in 44 patients with CAD. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 200 ml of 1.5% fat milk supplemented by 5 g of flaxseed oil (containing 2.5 g α-Linolenic acid) as intervention or 200 ml of 1.5% fat milk as placebo group for 10 consecutive weeks. Anthropometric indices and lipid profile were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Results: The results indicated that supplementation with flaxseed oil had no impact on anthropometric indices. Weight, body mass index, waist circumference and hip circumference decreased statistically significant within groups, but not between groups. At the end of the intervention, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreased significantly (P = 0.022) in the intervention group. Moreover, the triglyceride (TG) level decreased significantly in the intervention group from 173.45 (49.09) to 139.33 (34.26) (P < 0.001). Other lipid profile indices including total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein did not differ significantly within and between groups. Conclusion: We observed that supplementation of flaxseed oil improved TG and DBP but had no effect on other lipid profiles and anthropometric indices in patients with CAD.

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Key Points

Enrichment of foods with omega-3 provides more food choices for subjects who are trying to increase the omega-3 content in their diet. In a recent study adding 7% flaxseed oil to the skimmed milk did not have negative effects on physicochemical parameters of the emulsion. This study assessed 2.5 g ALA/day based on recommendation for adequate intake (1.6 g/day for men and 1.1 g/day for women), as well as previous reports preferred recommendations for modest dietary consumption of ALA (2–3 g/d) for the primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. In this study the effect of 10 weeks intervention with milk as a delivery system, containing 2.5% flaxseed oil on anthropometric indices, lipid profile and blood pressure in CAD patients was determined.

The present study evaluated the beneficial effects of flaxseed oil on anthropometric indices and its metabolic consequences in CAD individuals. The results indicated that ten weeks supplementation with flaxseed oil had a significant effect on DBP and TG in patients with CAD. The main finding of this study was that serum TG decreases as a result of consumption of milk with flaxseed oil.

The results showed that consumption of flaxseed oil did not affect weight, WHR, WC and BMI significantly in the intervention group in comparison to placebo group. However, anthropometric indices decreased at the end of intervention in both intervention and placebo groups which could be because of calorie restricted diet.

Supplementation with flaxseed oil led to a significant decrease (3 mm Hg) in DBP. A non-significant decrease was observed in placebo group which might be as a result of milk consumption. The main mechanisms by which flaxseed oil supplementation might lower blood pressure are not well known, but the action of prostaglandin metabolism on modulation of blood pressure may be involved. Prostaglandin may act by direct effects on vascular reactivity, regulation of renin release and control of sodium and water balance.

In conclusion, the findings of the present study suggest that flaxseed oil consumption by CAD patients is effective in reducing TG and DBP, and is expected to significantly reduce the overall CVD risk factors. The study shows that milk enrichment by flaxseed oil can be used as a food delivery for increasing omega-3 fatty acids.