Flaxseed consumption may improve lipid abnormalities and reduce systemic inflammation in hemodialysis (HD) patients, new findings suggest.

Investigators led by Rosita Jamaluddin, PhD, of Universiti Putra Malaysia in Selangor, Malaysia, enrolled 30 HD patients with dyslipidemia, which they defined dyslipidemia as a triglyceride level greater than 200 mg/dL and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level below 40 mg/dL. In unblinded fashion, the researchers randomly assigned patients to consume 40 grams of ground flaxseed daily for eight weeks or to adhere to their usual diet without any flaxseed (controls). At baseline and at the end of week 8, they collected blood samples after patients fasted for 12 to 14 hours and measure serum levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL-C, and C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker of systemic inflammation.

The flaxseed group experienced significant declines in triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and CRP and a significant increase in HDL-C at week 8 compared with baseline, the researchers reported online ahead of print in Hemodialysis International. The improves in lipid abnormalities and CRP levels also were significant greater in the flaxseed group compared with controls.

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