The benefits of proper nutrition on overall health have been well-documented, and researchers are continually studying the effects of nutrients on specific health factors. One nutrient of interest, flaxseed or more precisely the fat - alpha linolenic-acid (ALA), has recently gained attention due to its potential heart-healthy benefits. Animal studies have proposed a link between the consumption of flaxseed and heart health, especially when coupled with exercise. This was demonstrated in a recent investigation where researchers divided 40 albino rats into four groups: a control group; a group with isoproterenol-induced acute myocardial ischemia; a group with induced ischemia that had been receiving flaxseed supplements for six weeks; and a group with induced ischemia taking the supplements as well as exercising. The researchers found that flaxseed supplementation, coupled with aerobic training, showed significant increases in HDL-C when compared to the ischemic group that received no supplementation, nor engaged in training. While these researchers concluded the protective benefits of flaxseed were apparent, a similar human study was not as convincing. Researchers randomly separated 51 older adults into two groups. One group received a placebo while the other consumed a flaxseed oil supplement. Both groups completed a 12-week resistance training program. At the end of the 12 weeks, there was little to no improvement in the ALA group. Significantly, while the ALA did reduce IL-6 concentrations in men, it did not have the same effect on women. A concern with any study is cofactor dominance. Therefore the type of exercise should be considered as an influencing component; and at the very least, whereas ALA needs more research to categorize its efficacy as a heart protective agent, the evidence supports aerobic exercise for a healthy heart.