A Canadian study has shown that a daily dose of flax seed may help to lower cardiovascular risk in people with heart disease.

The aim of the study was to investigate the dietary effect of flax seed on the cholesterol levels of those who already had heart disease and in patiens who were already receiving treatment, primarily in the form of statins.

After a year it was found that patients with peripheral artery disease (a build up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricting blood supply to the legs), had a 15% reduction in circulating LDL cholesterol as early as one month into the trial.

The researchers concluded that ground flaxseed lowers both total and LDL cholesterol and was safe for those already taking cholesterol lowering medications.

The participants took a daily dose of 30g which is approximately 4 tablespoons.  It can be added to cereals, sprinkled on salads or soups or even stirred into gravies and sauces.

If you are in the habit of making smoothies or juices then you can easily add a tablespoon or two.

Because flax seed is a fibre it is important to make sure you keep you fluid levels up so I would recommend an extra glass of water after taking it.