Flax seed lowers uric acid in gout patients?
Flaxseed consumption goes back all the way to Babylonian times in 3000 BC and is extremely rich in essential fatty acids or EFAs. Flaxseed also called linseed, was also used to produce linen in ancient Egypt and it was only until the 19th century that cotton overtook flax as the most common plant used for the production of linen paper. The oil that comes from flax is called linseed oil and is used as a drying oil in paints and varnish. King Charlemagne of France was a big believer in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed a law requiring the people to consume it! In North America, flax was first introduced by the Puritans and Canada is the biggest flax producer in the world. Flaxseed has grown in popularity in the past few years, The Flax Council estimates close to 300 new flax-based products were launched in North America in 2010 alone!
Flax seeds have been used in Austrian medicine for the treatment of many disorders of the respiratory tract, eyes, cold, flu, infections, arthritis and gout! Flax seeds also contain lignans (phytoestrogens) which has plant estrogen as well as antioxidants when in its whole form. Lignans fight the effects of bacteria, fungus and protect the intestinal walls which helps with arthritis. Flax contains up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods! There is plenty of research that all fatty acids help relieve symptoms of arthritis but no studies have been done as of yet with gout patients.
Two studies conclude that flax seed decreases uric acid levels
One study titled: “Impact of dietary flaxseed (linum usitatissimum) supplementation on biochemical profile in healthy rats” compared flaxseed to soybean oil supplement to taking no supplementation, to see if uric acid levels would lower in rats. After 180 days, uric acid levels decreased by a whopping 34% in the rat group consuming the flaxseed supplement and 44% less than soybean oil supplement compared to taking no supplement at all. In another study done again on rats titled: “Protective effect of flaxseed oil and vitamin E on potassium Bromate-induced oxidative stress in male rats”, rats who consumed flaxseed oil had decidedly much lower uric acid levels.
Our bodies can’t manufacture essential fatty acids and our bodies need them to function properly, working throughout our bodies to protect cell membranes by keeping them efficient letting healthy substances in while excluding damaging ones. There are many gout sufferers who have stated that they have found relief from a gout attack by consuming flaxseed oil. It reduces inflammation in the joints and can also be used topically by rubbing the inflamed or swollen area of the skin with flaxseed oil.
Flaxseed may also help to lower cholesterol, control high blood pressure, protect against heart disease, control constipation, heal haemorrhoids, prevent painful gallstones and dissolving existing ones, it promotes healthy hair and nails, treats acne, eczema, reduces cancer risk, treats menopausal symptoms, infertility and male impotence! Make sure to include any form of flax in your daily diet, it is a must for the gout sufferer.
Flaxseed’s oil is very high in Omega -3 fatty acids and levels vary from the types and colors of the flax seed, usually in a yellow or brownish color. Just one teaspoon contains about 2.5 grams, the equivalent of more than twice the amount most people get through their diets! Flaxseeds also provide you with calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which are needed in any gout diet. Flaxseeds also have omega-6 fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid. Flaxseed oil only contains alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3 oils), and not the fiber or lignan components. Flaxseed is also good for gout sufferers that can’t eat any fish which is on the higher end in the purines scale since it may trigger gout attacks for them.
How to consume flax
I suggest you don’t consume more than 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day, you can buy it ground and grind it yourself with those electric coffee grinders. When flaxseed is eaten whole it passes through your intestinal tract undigested, if not properly chewed and you’ll miss out on many healthful nutrients. You can find it in any store nowadays and on the internet. You can add flaxseeds on your oatmeal, smoothies, salads or yogurt, I personally sprinkle 2 teaspoons on my whole wheat bread spread with natural peanut butter as a common breakfast meal in my diet. Don’t forget to add it to your baking in breads, muffins, rolls, bagels and pancakes.
Best way to store ground flaxseeds is in the freezer in an airtight container keeping it from oxidizing and losing its nutritional efficacy. Whole flaxseed should be kept in a dark, cool place at room temperature until you grind it since the shell keeps the fatty acids inside well protected. Many experts believe it’s best to consume flaxseed rather than flaxseed oil, which contains just part of the seed, so you get all the components but that is still debatable. Make sure to not fry with flaxseed oil since it will oxidize very quickly and therefore will produce free radicals. Use the oil as a salad oil instead of olive oil or take one tablespoon daily. Check the nutrition label to assure the oil includes lignans since they are very strong antioxidants. You can also consume flaxseed oil in soft capsule gels. Make sure to talk to your doctor on how to best consume flax.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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