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Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) consumption and blood thiocyanate concentration in rats

Saman Khalesi (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia)
Rosita Jamaluddin (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia)
Amin Ismail (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia and Halal Products Research Institute, Selangor, Malaysia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 February 2013

169

Abstract

Purpose

Flaxseed (FL) is a nutrient rich seed but contains cyanogenic glycosides, which can release hydrogen cyanide (HCN) into the body after consumption. This study aims to determine the cyanogenic content of raw and heated (170°C, 15 min) flaxseed as well as its effect on the blood thiocyanate (SCN) concentration, a derivate of HCN, in rats. Changes in liver and kidney enzymes level of blood are further studied.

Design/methodology/approach

Rats were assigned into groups of control, 10 percent, 20 percent and 30 percent of either raw or heated FL, in basal diet, for duration of 30 days. Cyanogenic content of FL analyzed using picrate method and blood thiocyanate concentration analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography.

Findings

Raw ground flaxseed had 251.14±9.11 mg HCN/kg food, which significantly reduced by 8.5 percent after heating. Generally heated FL groups showed lower (but not significant) blood thiocyanate compared to raw FL groups. Blood SCN elevated by increasing the dosage of flaxseed. However, only in 30 percent raw FL group the difference was significant (p<0.05). Liver and kidney enzymes were not changed significantly in all groups (p>0.05). This study suggests that consumption of flaxseed in high dosage (20 percent to 30 percent) is better to be in heated form to result in lower blood thiocyanate concentration.

Originality/value

This study may provide better understanding for safer usage of flaxseed in animals and even human interventional studies and may be applicable to flaxseed consuming food industries.

Keywords

Citation

Khalesi, S., Jamaluddin, R. and Ismail, A. (2013), "Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) consumption and blood thiocyanate concentration in rats", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 40-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346651311295897

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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