Flaxseeds, Fish, ALA and heart disease
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Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):489-96. The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. Rodriguez-Leyva D1, Dupasquier CM, McCullough R, Pierce GN. Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St Boniface Hospital Research Centre and Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with nutritional interventions is a therapeutic strategy that may warrant greater research attention. The increased use of omega (ω)-3 fatty acids is a powerful example of one such nutritional strategy that may produce significant cardiovascular benefits.
Marine food products have provided the traditional dietary sources of ω-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed is an alternative to marine products. It is one of the richest sources of the plant-based ω-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Based on the results of clinical trials, epidemiological investigations and experimental studies, ingestion of ALA has been suggested to have a positive impact on CVD. Because of its high ALA content, the use of flaxseed has been advocated to combat CVD. The purpose of the present review was to identify the known cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and ALA and, just as importantly, what is presently unknown.