Does Flaxseed Work?
Does Flaxseed Prevent Heart Disease?
Studies have shown that high dietary intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart disease in general. ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is abundant in flaxseed. Although studies have not looked at using flaxseed for heart disease prevention, it is reasonable to assume that flaxseed will have similar benefits, since it contains ALA.
Does Flaxseed Work for Menopause Symptoms?
Many women are interested in the benefits of flaxseed for natural menopause relief. Research suggests that flaxseed may indeed be helpful for mild menopause symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats. It is not known if flaxseed is helpful for severe symptoms of menopause.
Since flaxseed may help relieve menopause symptoms, women often wonder if it also helps prevent osteoporosis (since many menopause treatments also help prevent osteoporosis). However, flaxseed does not seem to be beneficial for this use.
Does Flaxseed Help With Kidney Health?
Research suggests that flaxseed may improve kidney function in people with lupus nephritis. Lupus nephritis is a serious kidney disorder that is a complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (also known as SLE or simply "lupus"). However, these results probably do not apply to the general population. There is no good reason to suspect that flaxseed promotes healthy kidney function.
Since flaxseed is a good source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), it may be effective for numerous uses. However, research is generally lacking, and flaxseed is probably not the miraculous "cure-all" that it is sometimes claimed to be.