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Safety and Effectiveness of Flaxseed for Reducing High Cholesterol

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: January 9, 2003
Last updated: August 17, 2006
Last verified: July 2006
Flaxseed, a rich source of fiber, may be a significant component of a cholesterol-reducing diet. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of flaxseed in reducing high cholesterol.

Condition Intervention Phase
Hypercholesterolemia Behavioral: Flaxseed-supplemented diet Phase 2 Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Trial of Flaxseed in Patients With Hypercholesterolemia

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Estimated Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: January 2003
Estimated Study Completion Date: January 2005
Detailed Description:

Hypercholesterolemia is an established risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The National Cholesterol Education Program estimates that 65 million Americans with hypercholesterolemia could be treated with diet and exercise alone. Flaxseed is a potential component of cholesterol-reducing diet regimens. Flaxseed contains significant amounts of soluble fiber and is a rich source of both alpha-linolenic acid and phytoestrogenic ligands, which have been implicated in the prevention of ASCVD. However, flaxseed's phytoestrogenic ligands may have undesirable hormonal effects. This study will systematically evaluate the safety and efficacy of ground flaxseed ingestion in both men and women with hypercholesterolemia.

Participants will be randomized to receive flaxseed or a matching wheat bran control. The test dose of flaxseed will be 40 grams administered in baked products (muffins, bread, or bars). The first 6 study weeks are a diet stabilization phase, followed by a 10-week study phase in which participants are expected to eat two servings of the test food daily. Blood and urine are collected for analysis, which will include measurement of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), post-prandial triglycerides, and urinary isoprostane secretion.


Ages Eligible for Study:   45 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

  • Men over 45 and post-menopausal women
  • LDL cholesterol > 130 mg/dl

Exclusion Criteria

  • Established heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00051415

United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Philippe O Szapary, MD University of Pennsylvania
  More Information Identifier: NCT00051415     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT001291-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: January 9, 2003
Last Updated: August 17, 2006

Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lipid Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases processed this record on September 18, 2017