inform November 2009, Vol. 20 (11) 701
ER-β,” write Elisabeth Lund of the Institute of Food Research in
Colney, Norwich, UK, and colleagues.
The researchers concluded: “The results may provide a novel
mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids could reduce cancer risk,
but the interpretation of the results in relation to soya consumption
and breast cancer risk requires further investigation.”
The study appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition (102:29–
Flaxseed and cholesterol
Consuming whole flaxseed, but not flaxseed oil, may help lower
cholesterol levels, according to a study led by Xu Lin of the Chinese
Academy of Sciences in Shanghai and published in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition (90:288–297, 2009).
Lin and colleagues examined results from 28 studies involving
more than 1,500 men and women to try to clarify the impact whole
flaxseed and its derivatives have on cholesterol levels. Average
whole flaxseed or flaxseed oil intake was about one tablespoon (15
mL) daily. The findings link whole flaxseed with reductions in total
cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein)-cholesterol. Total
and LDL-cholesterol reductions with whole flaxseed intake were
stronger in women, particularly postmenopausal women, than men,
and in people with higher cholesterol concentrations at the outset.
Whole flaxseed, however, did not appear to alter levels of triglycer-
ides or HDL (high-density lipoprotein)-cholesterol significantly.
The researchers also saw declines in total and LDL-choles-
terol, but not HDL-cholesterol or triglycerides, associated with
taking supplements of flaxseed lignans (about 430 mg on average),