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A3. Can linseed (flaxseed) help to regulate blood glucose levels when incorporated into the diabetic diet?

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Background It has been suggested that linseed (flaxseed) may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer due to its relatively high concentration of both alpha‐linolenic acid and nonstart polysaccharides ( Vaisey‐Genser & Morris, 1997). In view of this, and given the associated risk of heart disease with diabetes ( Fuller et al. 1980 ), can linseed be used in the diabetic diet to help regulate blood glucose levels?

Aim The aim of this experimental crossover design study was to investigate the glycaemic response of linseed in scones compared to white bread (a standard reference food).

Method Fifteen healthy female subjects (n = 15) participated in two single‐meal study periods with a 7‐day washout period in‐between. Finger prick blood samples were taken at 30, 60, 90 and 120 min postprandial and analysed using the Reflotron glucose method ( Boehringer Mannheim, 1974).

Results Using anova, a significant difference was found between the incremental blood glucose values following consumption of the linseed scone in comparison with the white bread [P < 0.008], which demonstrated that there was a more gradual glycaemic response with the linseed scone.

Conclusion As diabetics should avoid severe peaks and troughs in their blood glucose levels, linseed may help to regulate blood glucose when incorporated into certain foods which have a relatively high glycaemic response, e.g. bread.

Document Type: Abstract


Affiliations: Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh

Publication date: 2000-10-01

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