St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce (Professor of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba) has received funding approval of $2,806,392 over seven years for his work on Dietary Flaxseed as a Nutritional Intervention for Cardiovascular Disease.  The funding comes from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)–the major funder of health related research in Canada. Dr. Pierce is one of only 4 scientists in Manitoba and 120 researchers in the country that were approved for funding.

Dr. Pierce has managed numerous clinical studies focused on flaxseed.  He is a world leading expert on the health effects of flaxseed and has been invited to speak at close to 100 meetings on his groundbreaking results on the relationship of flaxseed to lowering hypertension, in over 20 countries.

"This ground breaking research cements the relationship between the unique bio actives in flaxseed and very consequential human health benefits” said Glenn Pizzey, Vice President/COO and Director R&D of Pizzey Ingredients. “It also bodes well for the entire flaxseed industry in North America." Pizzey Ingredients supplies the high quality flaxseed used in Dr. Pierce’s research.

In the CIHR grant, Dr. Pierce and his team will continue their on-going CIHR clinical trial to determine if flaxseed will lower blood pressure (BP) in patients with high BP but without secondary disease, and also study if flaxseed can delay or reduce the need for anti-hypertensive drugs. Current drugs used to control hypertension are costly, can induce unwanted side-effects and they are not always effective.

“It cannot be emphasized enough how important clinical research is to the market success of value-added flaxseed products,” said Kelley Fitzpatrick, Editor of “In order to  gain the acceptance of health professionals, government regulators and the consumer, solid reputable science is a high priority.”

In a separate line of study in animal models, Dr. Pierce will examine the potential for dietary flaxseed to reduce damage to the heart after a heart attack has occurred. The mechanisms responsible for the anti-hypertensive action of flaxseed and its effects on heart protection from heart attacks will be studied. Providing low cost alternatives to drug therapy that can be used alone or in conjunction with medication has enormous appeal for the Canadian health care system.