Flaxseeds have been shown to have many benefits for your heart. And now a new study has found that they increase the efficacy of cholesterol lowering medications. . . .

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave either 30g of milled flaxseeds or 30g of a whole wheat placebo each day to 110 people with peripheral artery disease. 

When those in the study who were taking choletsterol lowering medications--mostly statins--added the flax, their LDL cholesterol went down a further 8.5% than it did on the drug alone. When they added the placebo, their LDL choleserol levels continued to climb by an additional 3%. That means that adding flax to the statins produced an 11.5% benefit over adding placebo.

When people not on statins took the flaxseeds, their LDL cholesterol went down for the first six months, but, strangley, the benefit did not reach significance at the one year mark.

Nonetheless, the researchers concluded that flaxseed does lower total and LDL cholesterol in people with peripheral artery diseases in addition to concluding that the  flaxseed increased the effectiveness of statins.

There may also be the question of whether whole wheat is a genuine placebo or whether it didn't make the effects of flax seem smaller because it also had some active effect, since fiber is known to improve cholesterol.

J Nutr 2015;145:749-57

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