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Flaxseed Improves Glycemic Control

Posted Apr 26 2013 10:08pm

An abundant source of soluble fiber and lignans, compounds which have been studied for beneficial effects for pre-and type-2 diabetics, flaxseed also contains alpha-linolenic acid, an important plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.  Andrea M. Hutchins, from the University of Colorado (Colorado, USA), and colleagues enrolled 25 overweight or obese men and postmenopausal women with pre-diabetes  in  a 12-week long study in which subjects consumed 0, 13, or 26 grams of ground flaxseed daily.  The team monitored glucose, insulin, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR), and normalized percent of alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA).   The team observed that 13 gm/day of flaxseed significantly decreased insulin resistance.  The study authors submit that: “Flaxseed intake decreased glucose and insulin and improved insulin sensitivity as part of a habitual diet in overweight or obese individuals with pre-diabetes.”

Andrea M. Hutchins, Blakely D. Brown, Stephen C. Cunnane, Stephanie G. Domitrovich, Earle R. Adams, Courtney E. Bobowiec. “Daily flaxseed consumption improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes: a randomized study.”  Nutrition Research, 1 April 2013.

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Tip #153 - Fit with Fiber
Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oat/oat bran, dried beans and peas, nuts, barley, flax seed, fruits such as oranges and apples, vegetables such as carrots, and psyllium husk. It binds with fatty acids and prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly. Researchers from Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan (Spain) randomly assigned 200 overweight or obese study subjects to receive a daily soluble fiber supplement (comprised of Plantago ovata husk and glucomannan) two or three times a day, or placebo, for 16 weeks. At the end of the study, weight loss was higher in both fiber groups (4.52 and 4.60 kg lost, respectively), compared to the placebo group (0.79 kg weight loss). Additionally, LDL (low-density, “bad”) cholesterol levels decreased by 0.38 and 0.24 mmol/l in the fiber-supplemented groups, and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (high-density, “good")-cholesterol, and HDL to LDL, were also improved.

The recommended intake of fiber is 25 grams per day. To meet this, eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of grain products per day (at least 3 of which are whole grains). Your waistline, as well as cardiovascular health, will both benefit.

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