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High α-linolenic acid flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum):some nutritional properties in humans

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Stephen C. Cunnane
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Sujata Ganguli
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Chantale Menard
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Andrea C. Liede
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Mazen J. Hamadeh
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Zhen-Yu Chen
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Thomas M. S. Wolever
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
David J. A. Jenkins
Affiliation:
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
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Abstract

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Although high α-linolenic acid flaxseed (Linum usitatissitmum) is one of the richest dietary sources of α- linolenic acid and is also a good source of soluble fibre mucilage, it is relatively unstudied in human nutrition. Healthy female volunteers consumed 50 g ground, raw flaxseed/d for 4 weeks which provided 12–13% of energy intake (24–25 g/100 g total fat). Flaxseed raised α-linolenic acid and long-chain n-3 fatty acids in both plasma and erythrocyte lipids, as well as raising urinary thiocyanate excretion 2.2- fold. Flaxseed also lowered serum total cholesterol by 9 % and low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol by 18%. Changes in plasma α-linolenic acid were equivalent when 12 g α-linolenic acid/d was provided as raw flaxseed flour (50 g/d) or flaxseed oil (20 g/d) suggesting high bioavailability of α-linolenic acid from ground flaxseed. Test meals containing 50 g carbohydrate from flaxseed or 25 g flaxseed mucilage each significantly decreased postprandial blood glucose responses by 27%. Malondialdehyde levels in muffins containing 15 g flaxseed oil or flour/kg were similar to those in wheat-flour muffins. Cyanogenic glycosides (linamarin, linustatin, neolinustatin) were highest in extracted flaxseed mucilage but were not detected in baked muffins containing 150 g flaxseed/kg. We conclude that up to 50 g high-α-linolenic acid flaxseed/d is palatable, safe and may be nutritionally beneficial in humans by raising n-3 fatty acids in plasma and erythrocytes and by decreasing postprandial glucose responses.

Type
Nutritional Effects of High Alpha Linolenic Oilseed
Copyright
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1993

References

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