Flax lignan complex (FLC) isolated from flaxseed suppresses development of hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis. It does not produce regression of atherosclerosis, but prevents its regular diet-induced acceleration following a high-cholesterol diet. It is not known if replacement of a high-cholesterol diet with a regular diet has deleterious effects on body organs.
To determine if short-term use of a high-cholesterol diet, and a regular diet with or without FLC following the high-cholesterol diet, have any adverse effects on serum electrolytes, glucose and enzymes related to the liver, kidneys, skeletal muscle and intestines.
Blood samples were collected from the rabbits before and at various intervals during the high-cholesterol diet, and while on the regular diet with or without FLC, following the high-cholesterol diet. Measurements of serum total cholesterol, glucose, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), albumin, creatinine, electrolytes (sodium [Na], potassium [K], chloride [Cl]) and carbon dioxide (CO2) were taken.
The high-cholesterol diet produced hypercholesterolemia, which was associated with reductions in serum glucose and no significant changes in serum Na, K, Cl, CO2, ALT, ALP, AST, GGT, albumin or creatinine. Regular diet with or without FLC, following the high-cholesterol diet, reduced serum total cholesterol and glucose, increased serum Na, Cl and creatinine, but produced no significant alterations in serum K, CO2, ALT, AST, GGT or albumin. FLC reduced serum ALP, but regular diet produced no significant change.
Short-term use of a high-cholesterol diet, or a regular diet with or without FLC following the high-cholesterol diet, does not produce deleterious effects in the liver, kidneys, skeletal muscle, intestine or bone, as shown by changes in serum electrolytes, glucose and enzymes.