Can Flaxseeds Help Treat Diabetes?

Drug companies hope to capitalize on the fact that the consumption of certain plants appears to lower the risk of diabetes by isolating these plants’ active components for use and sale as pharmacological agents. Though not as profitable, why don’t we just eat the plants themselves?

One plant in particular that’s now been tested is flax. We’ve known for 20 years that having ground flax in your stomach can blunt the blood sugar spike from a meal, but it’s never been tested in diabetics–until now. World Health Organization researchers published an open-label study on the effect of flax seed powder supplementation in the management of diabetes.

Diabetic subjects took a tablespoon of ground flax seeds every day for a month, and, compared to the control group, experienced a significant drop in fasting blood sugars, triglycerides, and cholesterol, as well as the most important thing, a drop in A1C level. If one’s sugars are already well controlled, though, there may be no additional benefit.

How does flax help control blood sugars? Flaxseeds may improve insulin sensitivity in glucose intolerant people. After 12 weeks of flax, researchers found a small but significant drop in insulin resistance, perhaps related to the drop in oxidant stress due to the antioxidant qualities of flaxseeds.

The study profiled in the above video showing a tablespoon of daily ground flax seeds for a month appears to improve fasting blood sugars, triglycerides, cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c levels in diabetics was a non-blinded, non-randomized small study. If it was some drug they were testing, I’d never prescribe it based on this one study, but this isn’t a drug. It’s just flaxseeds. There are just good side effects, so even if this study was a fluke or fraud, flaxseeds have other benefits. In the worst case scenario the seed would still end up benefiting patients who aren’t quite ready or able to reverse their diabetes completely with a plant-based diet.

Flaxseeds are calorically dense, but even adding a half cup of ground flax a day may not lead to weight gain. When 4 tablespoons a day were tested for 3 months the flax group ended up with a slimmer waist than the flaxseed oil or control group. Because of the potential of raw flax seeds to interfere with thyroid function at high doses, though, I would only recommend 2 tablespoons a day. And I would not recommend flaxseed supplementation during pregnancy.

The flaxseed study reminds me of the Prunes vs. Metamucil for Constipation one, or any of those talking about various foods that may control blood sugar (Amla Versus Diabetes), weight (Fat Burning Via Flavonoids), cholesterol (Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol), or sexual dysfunction (Watermelon as Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction). Yes, these foods may help, but why not get at the root of the problem and try to reverse the condition altogether with a healthier diet overall?

The three best books on reversing type 2 diabetes with diet are Defeating Diabetes, co-authored by my favorite dietician, Brenda Davis, and from two of my medical mentors: Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program To Reverse Diabetes Now and Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s The End of Diabetes.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos here and watch my full 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: sean dreilingerPhú Thịnh Co, and grafixtek / Flickr

Related:
Paula Deen’s Diabetes: A Deep-Fried Drug Endorsement

Do You Want Fries with That Lipitor?
Is There a Safe, Low-Calorie Sweetener?

79 comments

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.4 days ago

susan is my name; i had suffered Diabetes for several years ago. My sugar level was as high as anything you can think about. i looked for how to get rid of this diabetes for a long period of time, but could not found any solution. Though i have always believed on herbal medicine, but was never chanced to look for any because of my work. But not too long i saw some good news on the internet on how a herbal doctor cured so many persons of various diseases, and viruses. So i also decided to contact the doctor those people talked about he is by the name Doctor Aba. I emailed him, and i explained my problem to him, he said he has the cure for diabetes and i decided to give him a try because there is no harm in trying. So i started the process, and he prepared some herbs and sent it to me here in my country, so i began to use it, and behold it worked for me like a magic. I am happy to say today i am diabetes free, and my sugar level is back to normalcy. Please if you also have same, and or similar problem please rush to contact Doctor Aba before it becomes too late for you. His email is dr.abaherbalhome@gmail.com you can whatsApp his number on +2348107155060

 .
.4 days ago

susan is my name; i had suffered Diabetes for several years ago. My sugar level was as high as anything you can think about. i looked for how to get rid of this diabetes for a long period of time, but could not found any solution. Though i have always believed on herbal medicine, but was never chanced to look for any because of my work. But not too long i saw some good news on the internet on how a herbal doctor cured so many persons of various diseases, and viruses. So i also decided to contact the doctor those people talked about he is by the name Doctor Aba. I emailed him, and i explained my problem to him, he said he has the cure for diabetes and i decided to give him a try because there is no harm in trying. So i started the process, and he prepared some herbs and sent it to me here in my country, so i began to use it, and behold it worked for me like a magic. I am happy to say today i am diabetes free, and my sugar level is back to normalcy. Please if you also have same, and or similar problem please rush to contact Doctor Aba before it becomes too late for you. His email is dr.abaherbalhome@gmail.com you can whatsApp his number on +2348107155060

Ashwin V.
Ashwin V.29 days ago

God bless me with a good Dr. Eboehi for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of Diabetes since 2015 and I was taking my medications, I wasn't satisfied i needed to get the Diabetes out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for Diabetes, i saw a comment about Dr. Eboehi, how he cured Diabetes with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through UPS SPEED POST. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 7 days later i was cured from Diabetes, Dr. Eboehi truly you are great. Do you need his help also? Why don't you contact him through: dreboehispelltemple@gmail.com Thanks..

Ashwin V.
Ashwin V.29 days ago

God bless me with a good Dr. Eboehi for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of Diabetes since 2015 and I was taking my medications, I wasn't satisfied i needed to get the Diabetes out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for Diabetes, i saw a comment about Dr. Eboehi, how he cured Diabetes with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through UPS SPEED POST. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 7 days later i was cured from Diabetes, Dr. Eboehi truly you are great. Do you need his help also? Why don't you contact him through: dreboehispelltemple@gmail.com Thanks

Glory S.
Glory S.about a month ago

hello friends, my name is glory susan i want to testify on how i was cured of my diabetes by a herbal Dr, i have suffered from diabetes for years and have been to different hospitals for cure but all effort was in vain. so while i was on net i saw so many testimony's about Dr Aba on how he cured so many diseases and virus so i decide to contact him and explain to him about my diabetes so he promise to cure me, after all arrangements have been made he prepared the herbs and sent to me in my country and i took it behold i was totally cured,now i'm happy to testify that i'm cured of my diabetes, so if you are suffering from diabetes and you want a total cure contact Dr Aba on dr.abaherbalhome@gmail.com you can call or whatsApp his number on +2348107155060

Glory S.
Glory S.about a month ago

hello friends, my name is glory susan i want to testify on how i was cured of my diabetes by a herbal Dr, i have suffered from diabetes for years and have been to different hospitals for cure but all effort was in vain. so while i was on net i saw so many testimony's about Dr Aba on how he cured so many diseases and virus so i decide to contact him and explain to him about my diabetes so he promise to cure me, after all arrangements have been made he prepared the herbs and sent to me in my country and i took it behold i was totally cured,now i'm happy to testify that i'm cured of my diabetes, so if you are suffering from diabetes and you want a total cure contact Dr Aba on dr.abaherbalhome@gmail.com you can call or whatsApp his number on +2348107155060

 .
.1 months ago

Great five steps to cure diabetes. In June of 2015, it was discovered that I had type 2 diabetes. By the end of the month, I was given a prescription for Metformin. I stated the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140. With no results to how for my hard work, I panicked and called my Doctor. His response? Deal with it. I began to feel that something wasn’t right and do my own research. Then I found Rachel’s blog ( WHO SAID SHE WAS CURED FROM DIABETES WITH THE HELP OF A HERBAL DOCTOR,CALLED DR IRISO " ) And i contacted the Dr iriso on his via email;(dririsosolutiontemple@gmail.com). and he reply me back i explain my problem to him and he said he is going to help me that it will take him 24 hours to consult his gods,The nest day he called me and as me to go for cheek up,and i went to my doctor, and I lost 30 pounds in the first week and lost more than 6 inches off my waist and I’m able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods so i will advise you to contact hem on this via email;( dririsosolutiontemple@gmail.com ) or call him on his mobile number +2348074876448 god bless you,.,

 .
.1 months ago

Great five steps to cure diabetes. In June of 2015, it was discovered that I had type 2 diabetes. By the end of the month, I was given a prescription for Metformin. I stated the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140. With no results to how for my hard work, I panicked and called my Doctor. His response? Deal with it. I began to feel that something wasn’t right and do my own research. Then I found Rachel’s blog ( WHO SAID SHE WAS CURED FROM DIABETES WITH THE HELP OF A HERBAL DOCTOR,CALLED DR IRISO " ) And i contacted the Dr iriso on his via email;(dririsosolutiontemple@gmail.com). and he reply me back i explain my problem to him and he said he is going to help me that it will take him 24 hours to consult his gods,The nest day he called me and as me to go for cheek up,and i went to my doctor, and I lost 30 pounds in the first week and lost more than 6 inches off my waist and I’m able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods so i will advise you to contact hem on this via email;( dririsosolutiontemple@gmail.com ) or call him on his mobile number +2348074876448 god bless you

Maria B.
Maria B.3 months ago

hello friends, my name is maria burgos i want to testify on how i was cured of my diabetes by herbal doctor chima okereke, i have suffered from diabetes for years and have been to different hospitals for cure but all effort was in vain. so while i was on net i saw so many testimony's about doctor chima okereke on how he cured so many diseases and virus so i decide to contact the said doctor and explain to him about my diabetes so he promise to cure me after all arrangements have been made he prepared the herbs and sent to me in my country and i took it behold i was totally cured,now i'm happy to testify that i'm cured of my diabetes, so if you are suffering from diabetes and you want a total cure contact Doctor chima okereke on drchimaokereke@gmail.com or call him on +2347067847693

Sharon M.
Sharon M.7 months ago

I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Diabetes diet and exercise did not help me. I researched online and this is what I had, it is called Dawn Phenomenon where my glucose would be high during the night and early morning hours (between 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m). I found a natural Phillippine remedy "DR.OKOROM HERBAL" and now my blood sugar levels are back to normal. My glucose numbers in the morning were from 117 to 119. When I take OKOROM HERBAL daily as soon as I get up on a empty stomach (30 minutes before eating), the numbers go down to 101 to 104 after drinking it for only 4 days.I promise to tell the world about him. You can contact via email dr.okoromspellhome@live.com :http://dr-okorom.webs.com/