Background: Globally, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing, predisposing people of both sexes to health hazards including cardiovascular diseases and death.
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate and compare the possible prophylactic and curative effects of flaxseed oil on vascular health in hyperlipidaemia.
Material and methods: Forty rats were equally distributed into four groups: Group I (control group), Group II (hyperlipidaemic group), Group III (flaxseed oil-pretreated group), and Group IV (flaxseed oil-treated group). At the end of the experiment, the body weight, serum lipid profiles, and serum levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1) were determined in all groups.
Results: Flaxseed oil pretreatment and treatment significantly decreased body weight by 28% and 19%, respectively, relative to HFD feeding alone. In addition, flaxseed oil supplementation significantly decreased serum total cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels while significantly increasing the HDL cholesterol levels compared to HFD feeding alone. Furthermore, flaxseed oil significantly suppressed the increases in the serum levels of MDA, IL-6, TNF-α, and VCAM1 while upregulating the serum GSH levels.
Conclusion: Flaxseed oil possesses anti-hyperlipidaemic and anti-inflammatory activities and may reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Flaxseed oil pretreatment was more effective against hyperlipidaemia than flaxseed oil treatment. Thus, flaxseed oil supplementation may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the prevention of atherosclerosis.