- Lignans are naturally occurring chemicals widespread within the plant and animal kingdoms. Several lignans—with intimidating names such as secoisolariciresinol—are considered to be phytoestrogens, plant chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen. These are especially abundant in Flaxseeds and Sesame seeds.
- Lignans are being studied for possible use in cancer prevention, particularly breast cancer. Like other phytoestrogens (such as soy isoflavones), they hook onto the same spots on cells where estrogen attaches.
Flaxseeds are rich in a number of nutrients that benefit your health, including dietary fiber – a type of carbohydrate important to digestive health and omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat essential for brain function. They also provide phytoestrogens -plant compounds with a chemical structure similar to human estrogen – in the form of lignans.
- A number of preliminary human and animal studies suggest that lignans may be helpful for cancer prevention , particularly of the colon and breast.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid high intake of Flaxseed or purified lignans.
- Lignans, or phytoestrogens, are a group of phytonutrients, or plant chemicals, and flaxseed is a natural source. Pure flax oil does not a have lignans, but you can purchase high-lignan flax oil as a dietary supplement. Compared to flaxseed, flax oil has a higher concentration of a heart-healthy omega-three fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. A disadvantage of taking high-lignan flax oil as a dietary supplement instead or purchasing regular flax oil as a food product is that the FDA does not verify the safety of dietary supplements as rigorously as foods.
Unknown, please consult with your nutritionist.
Source: Med.nyu.edu, www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21801