February 5/Winnipeg, Manitoba/Press Release -- The Flax Council of Canada announced the acceptance by Health Canada of a health claim linking ground whole flaxseed to cholesterol lowering, a major risk factor for heart disease.

Flax’s omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and other nutritional benefits have made flaxseed a popular food ingredient for people of all ages. Flaxseed is available as whole seed and ground whole seed.

“Based upon the strength of the scientific data we submitted, Health Canada’s Food Directorate recommended the acceptance of a health claim showing flaxseed can lower blood cholesterol,” states William Hill, president of the Flax Council of Canada. “This is a proud achievement as Canada is the first country in the world to allow a health-related claim for flaxseed for use on food labels. This claim is one of only a dozen deemed to meet the rigorous scientific criteria established by Health Canada.”

"Flaxseed is an important crop for Western Canadian farmers and the economy, and Canada is the world leader in production,” says Linda Braun, executive director of the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission.

Health claims are an important way to inform consumers about the nutritional value of a product and let consumers know how many servings of a particular food they need to eat to obtain the maximum benefit. The daily consumption of five tablespoons (40g) of ground flaxseed will help to reduce cholesterol levels.

“Now food manufacturers will be able to clearly state on labels the relationship between flax consumption and a reduction of cholesterol. This health claim will help encourage the development  and demand for products containing flax.”, states Eric Fridfinnson, board chair of the Manitoba Flax Growers Association.