Scientists have discovered that flaxseeds may be of help for a person with kidney disease. Polycystic Kidney Disease is a genetic disease causing cysts to grow on the kidneys. These cysts cause them to slow down and shut down within a year. This disease is the fourth leading cause of kidney disease and affects 600,000 Americans a year.
There have been few options for patients prior to this discovery; those being dialysis and transplant. With their high concentration of Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), flaxseeds seem to offer a new hope for those suffering from this illness. The study was done on mice and was also found to be affected by gender.
- If the diet consisted of 7% of flaxseed, significant and uncontrolled weight loss was prevented. This kind of weight loss is one of the key symptoms of this illness.
- Reduced physical changes to the kidney. This included significantly reduced scarring, called fibrosis and significantly reduced presence of white blood cells in the kidneys, called macrophage infiltration.
- A 40% reduction of PGE-2, a protein which causes damage to the kidneys and reduces their effectiveness.
What Are Flaxseeds?
Also known as linseeds, these are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds. They are a great source of dietary fiber, containing minerals like manganese, thiamine and magnesium and plant-based protein. They are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (also known as ALA) in the world. Another unique feature of the seeds is that they are a primary source of lignans, which are antioxidants, in the human diets. They contain about seven times as many lignans as the closest runner-up, sesame seeds.
Grinding flax is the best way to absorb both types of fiber it contains and allows a person to take advantage of the maximum amount of benefits offered by these seeds. Flaxseeds can be eaten as whole seeds but there are some downsides to doing so. Ungrounded, these seeds will pass through the human body, largely unprocessed, depriving a person of their many benefits Another way to ingest flaxseeds is to make it into flaxseed oil. This can be easily digested and makes a great source of concentrated healthy fats.
Linseed oil is another way to use flaxseed, but NOT ingest it! This oil is boiled and can be used in products such as oil-based paints, glazing putties and as a wood protector/enhancer. Again, this is another USE for linseed oil and should NEVER be taken internally.
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