Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN, Chairperson; Cheryl Ahern-Lehmann, PhD, RNC, ANP; Dr. Tanja Crockett


flaxseed SDG, Hyperlipidemia, nursing, Perimenopause, women


In 2001, the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) expanded their guidelines for evaluation and treatment of hyperlipidemia which includes not only a low cholesterol diet and exercise, but also the use of plant stanols such as Flaxseed and Soluble fiber. According to the NCEP III guidelines, women with mild hyperlipidemia and low risk cardiac factors would not qualify for drug therapy to control their cholesterol. However, the use of plant stanols could be used as an alternative. As there are limited studies involving postmenopausal women in regards to treatment of heart disease, there is virtually no information or research on perimenopausal women who may be at increase risk for Coronary Artery Disease. This experimental pilot study evaluated the effects of Flaxseed SDG on perimenopausal women with mild hyperlipidemia to see if this could prevent advancement of hyperlipidemia. 11 perimenopausal women between the ages of 36-48 years with mild hyperlipidemia were involved in a 14 week randomized, double blind, experimental pilot study. Subjects were randomized into control Group 1 of Psyllium 11.7gm/day (n=5) and the experimental Group 2 of Flaxseed SDG (Brevail) 200mg/day (n=6). The study included an eight week period on the study product and this was followed by two washout periods at two weeks and then four weeks. Lipid levels and diet assessment were evaluated at each time point of the study. Results showed the Brevail SDG group had significant findings for the VLDL Cholesterol-direct during all three time points of the study (p=0.047, 0.031, 0.011) and for Triglycerides at time point 1 vs. 2 and 2 vs. 3 (p= 0.043, 0.047). The Psyllium group showed statistical significance for improvement of VLDL Cholesterol-direct levels between time point 1 vs. 3 (p=.021). There was a trend for improvement of lipid values for LDL-C, Lp(a), and hsCRP while on the Brevail SDG and an improvement of Total Cholesterol, HDL-C, and Non-HDL-C at the six week washout period. The Psyllium group showed a trend for improvement of total Cholesterol, LDL-C, Non-HDL-C, and hsCRP while on the product and the HDL-C, Triglycerides, VLDL-C, and Lp(a) showed an improvement in values during the six week washout period. In conclusion, due to the small sample size of the study, there was no statistically significant findings to support that Brevail SDG can improve lipid levels in perimenopausal women with mild hyperlipidemia. However, there was a favorable trend in improvement of LDL-c, Lp(a), and hsCRP values while taking Brevail SDG. Therefore, based on the findings of the study, it would be worthwhile to repeat this study on a larger basis to determine if there is significant data to support that flaxseed can improve cholesterol levels and prevent the risk of progressing to CHD in perimenopausal women with mild hyperlipidemia.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons