(HealthDay News) – Dietary flaxseed supplementation in children with hypercholesterolemia is safe but associated with adverse changes in lipid profile with no clear benefit, according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Helen Wong, RD, from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and colleagues randomly assigned 32 children (8–18 years old) with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol between 135mg/dL (3.5mmol/L) and 193mg/dL (5mmol/L) to two muffins and one slice of bread daily, either containing whole-wheat flour or ground flaxseed.

The researchers found that dietary flaxseed supplementation was associated with adverse changes in the lipid profile, with a significant decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a significant increase in triglycerides, and a significant increase in dietary polyunsaturated fat intake. Flaxseed supplementation had no significant effect on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index z score, or total caloric intake. The change in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol did not exclude a potential benefit of flaxseed based on a pre-specified minimum clinically important reduction of 10%. The researchers noted no safety concerns.

“The use of flaxseed supplementation in children with hypercholesterolemia might not be a viable option for lipid management in this population,” Wong and colleagues conclude.

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