Monday, September 03, 2007

Flax Facts

Apparently giving us fifty-something ladies with hot flashes our daily crushed flax seed may decrease the heat by half.

Investigators took a group of our colleagues* with at least 14 flashes per week and fed them crushed flax seed. The phytoestrogenic facets of flax--i.e. its ability to occupy cellular estrogen receptors and tweak them in an estrogenic sort of way--made this strategy an appealing one for temperature control. Indeed, those ladies who did not find themselves distended and gassy from the addition of flax were pleased to find an improvement in their symptoms.

One observation about hot flashes from years of personal and professional experience: When I ask women if they are flashing, and they hedge and say well perhaps maybe occasionally they might feel something like that, they are NOT having hot flashes. If it's a hot flash, you KNOW it.
*Pruthi S, et al "Pilot Evaluation of Flaxseed for the Management of Hot Flashes" J Soc for Integrative Oncology 2007; 5: doi 10.2310/7200.2007.007.


Jean said...

Where was the flax seed when I needed it:)

Mauigirl said...

Good to know in case it happens to me. Apparently I have NOT had a hot flash because I am never sure when someone asks if I've had one. I have certainly had times when I feel hotter than other people in the room but nothing overt enough to "KNOW" it was one.

My husband takes flax seed oil capsules to lower his cholesterol. Do these capsules work as well as actual crushed flax seed?

KGMom said...

Flax seed--really?
Well, I am post-meno but it's always interesting to learn another healthy food source.
I am addicted to almonds--not for hot flash reasons--just because I love them!

janey wan said...

Get them all the time. Thanks for the advise.

Femail doc said...

MG: I am unfamiliar with flax seed oil for lowering cholesterol. Does it work for your husband? This particular study only checked out crushed flax seed.

JW: Whole soy foods such as roasted soy beans are also research-proven for hot flash control. As is a product called femarelle ( which is some sort of tofu drivative.

KGM: I like almonds too, especially when clusters of them are surrounded by dark chocolate. The perfect health food.

Mauigirl said...

It's hard to say whether it worked, because when he first started using the flax seed oil, he also changed his diet.

However, it makes sense, since I believe its claim to fame is the healthy balance of Omega 3 and 6.

30 years from Darling said...

I not only knew when my first hot flash hit, but so did my whole family!
They now have 'chores' to do when I have one! (get the socks off mom! open the window! grab the fan! I'm too busy taking my robe off to get my socks off and somebody better move faster than I can!!!!! )