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Effect of flaxseed supplementation and exercise training on lipid profile, oxidative stress and inflammation in rats with myocardial ischemia

Howaida A Nounou12*, Maha M Deif3 and Manal A Shalaby24

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, 21111, Egypt

2 Current address: Department of Biochemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11495, Saudi Arabia

3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, 21111, Egypt

4 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute (GEBRI), City for Scientific Research and Technology Applications, Alexandria, Egypt

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2012, 11:129  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-11-129

Published: 5 October 2012



Flaxseed has recently gained attention in the area of cardiovascular disease primarily because of its rich contents of α-linolenic acid (ALA), lignans, and fiber. Although the benefits of exercise on any single risk factor are unquestionable, the effect of exercise on overall cardiovascular risk, when combined with other lifestyle modifications such as proper nutrition, can be dramatic.

This study was carried out to evaluate the protective role of flaxseed and exercise on cardiac markers, lipids profile and inflammatory markers in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced myocardial ischemia in rats.


The research was conducted on 40 male albino rats, divided into 4 groups (n=10): group I served as control, group II has acute myocardial ischemia induced by isoproterenol, groups III and IV have acute myocardial ischemia induced by isoproterenol pretreated with flaxseed supplementation orally for 6 weeks, additionally group IV practiced muscular exercise through swimming.


Alterations of lipid profile, cardiac and inflammatory markers (Il-1β, PTX 3 and TNF- α) were observed in myocardial ischemia group. Flaxseed supplementation combined with exercise training showed significant increase of HDL and PON 1, on the other hand cardiac troponin, Il- 1β and TNF- α levels significantly decreased as compared to myocardial ischemic group. Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) analysis of cTnI, PTX 3, Il-1β and TNF- α revealed a satisfactory level of sensitivity and specificity.


Regular exercise enhances the improvement in plasma lipoprotein levels and cardiovascular protection that results from flaxseed supplementation by mitigating the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. Elevation of HDL, the antioxidant PON 1 and the cardioprotective marker PTX 3 emphasizes the protective effects of flaxseed and muscular exercise mutually against the harmful effects of acute myocardial ischemia.

Flaxseed; Exercise; Ischemia; Pentraxin; Troponin; Cytokines; Paraoxonase; Lipid profile