Can Flax Prevent Diabetes?

Posted on October 15, 2007. Filed under: Health Benefits |

Flax Health Report…Can Flax Prevent Diabetes?

by Esther Hylden RN

    This month I will review an article entitled, Planting a Seed, Can Flax Prevent Diabetes? Andrea Hutchins, PhD, RD is the assistant Professor at the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Colorado.  Hutchins notes that people with pre-diabetes can slash their risk of developing diabetes by as much as 58 percent if they lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through diet and exercise. However, Hutchins asks if there are additional ways to control blood glucose in people with pre-diabetes. 

    “We know that flaxseed has a lot of soluble fiber, which plays a role in controlling glucose levels by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates in the gut,” Hutchins says.  “But flaxseed is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to improve insulin sensitivity.” 

    Using funds from an American Diabetes Association Research Award, Hutchins and her team are studying how flaxseed intake affects blood glucose in 70 overweight adults with pre-diabetes.  The study will be broken into three 12- week sessions. In the first 12- week session, the participants will keep a written record of their food intake.  During the second segment, they’ll also take 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed per day.  Finally, in the third segment, they’ll take 4 tablespoons per day.  At the end of the study, the researchers will compare the results of the blood tests, and determine if the participants’ blood glucose was reduced when they took flaxseed.  Hutchins says, “If we can find a way to intervene in pre-diabetes and slow its progression to type 2 diabetes over the long run, then hopefully we’ll see a reduction in the development of diabetes-related complications like heart disease, as well.”

    I will be following this research, and will report to you the findings as soon as I hear them.  Andrea Hutchins is asking a good question, and has a well thought out plan to determine the answer.  Until the results are in, exercise, eat well, live well, and of course…take your flax every day! 

To your good health,

Esther Hylden RN

Bibliography:

Planting a Seed, Can Flax Prevent Diabetes?

By Terri D’Arrigo

Diabetes Forecast, September 2007

          

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One Response to “Can Flax Prevent Diabetes?”

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