Culinary Rx: The Impact of Flax Seeds on Your Blood Pressure


As I stated in my previous post, high blood pressure is a very common problem and will affect the majority of individuals over the age of 65.

These individuals will have to face the decision as to whether or not they are prepared to use recommended medications and risk potentially serious side effects they can cause.

Clinical Trial: Flax Seeds vs Medication

The October 2013 issue of the medical journal Hypertension published the details of a double blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial. The trial included 110 patients. The average age was 67. Of the participants, 90% were current or prior smokers, 75% had high blood pressure, 32% were diabetic, and 79% had high cholesterol levels.

84% of the flax group were being treated with high blood pressure medications and 73% of the placebo group were being treated with high blood pressure medications. In other words, the large majority of participants had multiple health problems and a poor lifestyle (evidenced by the fact that 90% were current or prior smokers).

One group of patients was given 30 grams of ground flax seeds mixed into bagels, tea biscuits, pasta, or muffins. The other group received the same items without the flaxseed. One serving of each item per day.

Blood Pressure Reduction

The following were the results:

 Systolic  Diastolic
Ground Flax Group  10-15 points  7 points
Placebo Group  Slight increase  0
Avg Blood Pressure Medication  5-9 points  3-5 points

The above were the changes for the entire group. Even more interesting was the fact that those with systolic blood pressure over 140 achieved the largest reduction in blood pressure (15 points).

The group receiving the ground flax had a reduction in blood pressure equal to or greater than that which is achieved by the average high blood pressure medication. A reduction of 10 points in systolic blood pressure would result in an approximate reduction of 36% in the incidence of stroke as well as 27% in the incidence of a heart attack.

Simple Dietary Changes

If you have high blood pressure this simple dietary change could have a significant impact on your health. If you are on medication it should be coordinated with your physician. As a result of the reduction in blood pressures in the trial, part of the flax group had their medications reduced.

As always, you need to take control of your health. The only way of doing this is by educating yourself and examining all the options.


Eliezer Greenspan
Eliezer writes on issues of public health including nutrition, exercise, and effectiveness of drugs and medical procedures. He has trained in a course as an EMT, is certified by Dr. John McDougall in the Starch Solution program, and continues to expand his medical knowledge by taking courses offered by major universities and medical schools – ranging from Epidemiology to Vaccine Safety. He is currently studying to be a Plant-Based Chef. He lectures throughout Israel and offers courses and training online. More details and articles can be found at his website "The Fountain of Youth" ( On Facebook: