Linseed, perhaps not the best for lactating mothers

By 7. September 2015Blog, Risk Management

If you keep up to date with health food recommendations (and by reading this it suggests that you do) then you should be familiar with the idea that linseed (or flax seed for our friends across the pond) are good for you.

They contain a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids (the good ones) compared to omega 6 fatty acids (the bad ones) and so have been recommended as an alternative source of omega 3 to fish oil.

But an upcoming publication in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that mothers who eat them during pregnancy could be causing unwanted changes in their male children.

The researchers fed lactating rats a diet containing 25% linseed or a control diet free from linseed and then after being weaned from the milk the males were reared on a control diet.  After 180 days the rats whose mums had been fed the linseed demonstrated 4 times higher levels of cholesterol, and 3 times higher TAG contents in the liver.

There were other factors also measured but the take home message was that the linseed seemed to reduce activation of some important metabolic components while increasing others. The liver fat content was also increased.

The researches suggest that lactating mother should reduce their intake of these seeds. Hopefully someone can do a follow up on chia seeds soon as this is the other seed with a good omega 3 to omega 6 ratio that is currently gaining popularity.

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