Effect of flaxseed supplementation on lipid profile: An updated systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of sixty-two randomized controlled trials.
Pharmacol Res. 2019 Dec 30 ;152:104622. Epub 2019 Dec 30. PMID: 31899314
Raised plasma lipids are one the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Flaxseed contains considerable amounts ofα-linolenic acid, phenolic compounds, and lignans, which each have the capacity to reduce circulating lipid concentrations. This study aimed to systematically review current evidence to identify the potential effects of flaxseed supplementation on blood lipid profiles using a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases were searched for publications between January 1900 and May 2019. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) were analyzed using a random-effects model. The Cochrane Collaboration tool was also used to assess the riskof bias of the studies included. Sixty-two RCTs with a total of 3772 participants met the eligibility criteria. Our analysis showed that flaxseed supplementation significantly reduced total cholesterol (TC) (WMD = -5.389 mg/dL; 95% CI: -9.483, -1.295, p = 0.010), triglyceride (TG) (WMD = -9.422 mg/dL; 95% CI: -15.514, -3.330, p = 0.002), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (WMD = -4.206 mg/dl; 95% CI: -7.260, -1.151, p = 0.007) concentrations. However, it had no effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (WMD = 0.047 mg/dl; 95% CI: -0.777, 0.872, p = 0.910). This meta-analysis suggested that flaxseed supplementation improves serum TC, TG, and LDL-C, which could delay the progression of heart disease. Further studies with large-scale and better design are now needed to confirm these results.