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As part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Principal Investigators at St. Boniface Hospital and the University of Manitoba and The University of Winnipeg will receive $651,570 in new funding to look at ways dietary flaxseed can cure broken hearts in women with breast cancer; improve memory function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease; reduce blood pressure; and validate flax oil as an economically affordable anti-inflammatory.

At a news conference hosted at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechsten Research Centre, Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Ralph Eichler, and Member of Parliament for St. Boniface – St. Vital, Dan Vandal, shared aspects of a joint vision by government to invest in the long-term success of Manitoba’s agriculture based on scientific research.

“St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre has a world-class team of researchers who are keeping our province on the competitive edge,” said Vandal. 

“Manitoba continues to be a hub for research and innovation which benefits farmers, food processors and many other stakeholders,” said Minister Eichler.

“We are excited by the opportunity afforded by the Federal and Provincial governments to our five Principal Investigators here at St. Boniface Hospital to determine if flax can significantly help in the fight against disease and create an economic impact to boost Canadian agribusiness,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital.

Pierce explained that flaxseed’s health benefits have been vastly understudied which has led to low public awareness and under-consumption.  But he’s confident research can demonstrate those health benefits and ultimately motivate more consumers to choose dietary flax products that are convenient and affordable. “The opportunity to collaborate with major flax companies in Manitoba, like Pizzeys’ Ingredients, gives us another exciting opportunity to produce important information that will advance the flax field,” he added.

Pizzey’s Ingredients Flax Beverage is a breakthrough advancement for dietary flax, providing an easy and delicious way to consume over 30 grams of flax on a daily basis. In the growing market of non-dairy “milk” products, including almond, soy, and coconut milk the demand for these plant-based beverages continues to be driven by their increased health benefits. 

Congratulations to these Principal Investigators and their teams as they embark on their CAP funded flaxseed research.

  • Dr. Benedict Albensi – “Effect of dietary flaxseed on memory and cognition”
  • Dr. Harold Aukema, Dr. Carla Taylor & Dr. Peter Zahradka – “Cost-effectiveness analysis of anti-inflammatory effects of flax oil”
  • Dr. Luc Clair – Health Economist, “Economic and societal impacts of adopting a flax milk regimen to combat disease”
  • Dr. Delfin Rodriguez-Leyva – “Effects of flax milk on arterial hypertension”
  • Dr. Davinder Jassal – “Preventing broken hearts in women with breast cancer”
[L-R] Dr. Harold Aukema, Principal Investigator, Nutrition and Lipid Mediators; Dr. Luc Clair, Principal Investigator, Ag/Health Economist; Dr. Benedict C. Albensi, Principal Investigator, Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction Lab; Dr. Delfin Rodriguez Leyva, Principal Investigator, Translational Cardiology; The Honourable Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital; The Honourable Ralph Eichler, Minister of Agriculture; Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital; Dr. Davinder S. Jassal, Principal Investigator, Cardiovascular Imaging, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences