Flaxseed Supports Balance in the Body
Flaxseed is a nutrient that should be on everyone's supplement list. Its benefits are particularly helpful to women with PCOS because it addresses hormonal issues as well as the cluster of cardiovascular concerns that present themselves in Insulin Resistance-related disorders.
Insulin Resistance, the root cause of PCOS, should be treated with a comprehensive regimen of diet changes, exercise and specially formulated supplements that include Flaxseed. One of the prime components, Lignans, is a plant-derived estrogen (phytoestrogen) that stabilizes estrogen levels disrupted by elevated levels of insulin. This balance regulates excess testosterone, promotes ovulation and contributes to menstrual regularity. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that in reducing the availability of estrogen, Lignans also reduced the risk of breast cancer but didn't interfere with estrogen's role in maintaining bone health. (1)
The cardiovascular risk of PCOS sufferers is high. Excess insulin and glucose damage the lining of arteries, alter the salt balance of the blood and increase the risk of blood clots. (2) Flaxseed is a rich source of Alpha-linolenic acid, the Omega-3 fat which research shows reduces the formation of blood clots, lowering blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and blood triglycerides. It also decreases inflammation and increases the flexibility of cell membranes, promoting an easier transfer of micronutrients in and out of the cell.
Adding the nutty-flavored Flaxseed to your diet is easy. It can be found at most health food stores in either whole or ground form. Most sources recommend a daily dosage of about two to three tablespoons of the ground variety, sprinkled over cereal or a salad, into a smoothie or into bread or muffin dough. It's also available in capsule form; daily dosage: 3,000mg. (3)
For PCOS-sufferers, Flaxseed is a great step toward health.
(1) Supplementation with flaxseed alters estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women to a greater extent than does supplementation with an equal amount of soy; Jennifer D Brooks, Wendy E Ward, Jacqueline E Lewis, John Hilditch, Leslie Nickell, Evelyn Wong and Lilian U Thompson Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Feb;79.
(2) Health aspects of partially defatted flaxseed, including effects on serum lipids, oxidative measures, and ex vivo androgen and progestin activity: a controlled crossover trial; David JA Jenkins, Cyril WC Kendall, Edward Vidgen, Sanjiv Agarwal, A Venket Rao, Rachel S Rosenberg, Eleftherios P Diamandis, Renato Novokmet, Christine C Mehling, Tina Perera, Larry C Griffin and Stephen C Cunnane; Nutr Rev. 1999 Mar;69