Lignan Gold 150 gram
Our potent Lignan GoldTM, flax hull lignans, effectively is produced by extracting the lignans or SDG from flaxseed, giving you a product that contains an impressive 30-60 mg (SDG) lignans per gram from 100% organic flaxseed hulls. This is 400% to 800% higher SDG lignans, per gram, than ground flax seed! One tablespoon contains 6 grams of fiber. There is no other product on the market that can deliver a higher potency from an organic source.
WHAT ARE LIGNANS?
Lignans are a group of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) which are found in seeds, grains and vegetables. Flax seed is, by far, nature’s richest source of plant lignans. Other sources of lignans such as rye, buckwheat, millet, soya, and barley, contain 2 to 6 micrograms of lignans per gram (mcg/g) of grain. Flax seed yields 800 mcg/g. While the essential fatty acids are in the oil of the flax seed, the lignans are in the fiber hull of the seed. The oil has little or no lignans. The lignan found in flaxseed is called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). This phytonutrient is
classed as a polyphenol.
Flaxseed lignan was discovered in 1956.
The first interest in biological activity of SDG arose in the early 1980’s when investigators reported that the level of lignans in the body were lower in patients with breast cancer than in tumor free patients.
It was also noted that vegetarians had higher concentrations of lignan substances than non-vegetarians.
There are two general types of lignans: 1) those found in plants and 2) those found in animals and humans or “mammalian lignans.” When the plant lignan SDG (from flaxseed) is ingested, it is converted in the colon by bacteria to the mammalian lignans enterodiol (ED) and enterolactone (EL).
Many studies have shown the important health benefits that exist due to this conversion of flax lignan in the body.
The essential fatty acids in flax oil are the best-known constituent in flaxseed for providing health benefits. They have been proven to help prevent heart disease, improve skin and hair, aid in the cell production, aid in fat and weight reduction as well as other health benefits.
Flax oil has become one of the most beneficial and sought-after health products in the marketplace. While most of the attention surrounding flax seed has been its source of essential fatty acids, recent studies and research have revealed that the substance called “lignan” within flaxseed may surpass flax oil in its health benefits.
Medicinal Value of Lignans
Lignans have numerous biological properties that make them unique and very useful in promoting
health and combating various diseases.
Up until recent times, SDG existed in such small concentrations that no one was aware of its miraculous qualities. While the oil of flaxseed is a big percentage of the seed, the SDG lignan methods have brought to light the tremendous
health benefits associated with lignans.
Since the 1980’s lignans have come under scientific scrutiny after studies indicated that they may interfere with the development of breast, prostate, colon, and other cancer. Research has shown that people who excrete high amounts
of lignans in their urine have notably lower cancer rates.
These lignan compounds have shown such extraordinary potential that they have been studied by the National Cancer Institute for their cancer preventative properties. The SDG lignan not only has anti-cancer properties. It is a potent antioxidant and has also been shown to enhance immune system functioning.
Lignans provide certain health benefits in part because they are considered to be “phytoestrogens.” These are plant chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen. Studies indicate that people who eat more lignan-containing foods have lower incidence of breast and colon cancer, due to the phytoestrogen effect.
The mounting scientific evidence shows how important it is to consume a lignan-rich diet.
Since 1995, several health products have come into the marketplace with the word “lignan” on the
label. Several flax oil products claim to contain lignans. They have
names like “high Lignan Flax Seed Oil.” When these products were tested
it was found they contained practically no lignans at all. That is to
be expected since the lignans are not in the oil.
Other flax oil
products state they contain a certain percentage of lignan particulates
such as “20% lignan particulates.” This does not mean it contains 20%
lignans. This means that 20% of the product is made up of pieces of the
flax fiber shell which contains the lignans. But since the fiber meal
consists of about 1.6% lignans, such a product would contain only .35%
Lignans. Further, if such a product is in liquid form (in the bottle),
the particulates will settle to the bottom. Thus no lignans are
consumed until the end of the product’s use.
Another product says
it has “up to 30% more lignans that the whole flax seed.” This is
essentially a product consisting mostly of the defatted flax fiber
without the oil. There is no concentration or extract of lignans. Such
a product would thus contain about 1.6% lignans, which is the highest
level of lignans currently available.
Health product companies
have tried to capitalize on the tremendous health benefits of lignans by
offering lignan products. They have been able to get the word “lignan”
on the label, but little of it in the product. Some of these flax
products advertise that flaxseed has 100 to 800 times more lignans than
other plant sources. This sounds impressive, but they do not say how
little lignan there actually is in a flax seed: just 1%. If it is a
flax oil product, it does not matter anyway, since less than 2% of the
lignans are in the oil. The difficulty in separating SDG lignan from
flaxseed lies in the fact that the flaxseed hulls, which contain the
lignan, adhere tightly to the seed. Therefore, obtaining a pure SDG
product has not been economically viable.
The University of
Toronto developed an SDG extraction process using chemicals such as
methanol, petroleum ether, chloroform, sodium methoxide and sulfuric
acid. The method is not very desirable due to trace chemicals leeching
into the lignans.
Another Method uses an alkaline alcohol process
followed by flash chromatography. The yield, however, is ratter low.
Finally, a new revolutionary and highly proprietary process has been
developed to provide the highest possible, all natural concentration of
SDG containing flax seed lignans.
Antioxidants and Disease
is now known that some diseases, including cancer, can get their start
or be promoted by way of free radical damage. There has been an
increase in the causes of free radicals in the body, such as high
unhealthy-fat diets, fried foods, exposure to radiation, and
environmental pollutants. The normal antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E and
phytochemicals) are not able to keep up with the increase in free
radicals. The balance between your intake of antioxidants and exposure
to free radicals may literally be the balance between health and disease
or life and death.
Previously the ability of flax seed to
scavenge oxygen radicals (antioxidant properties) was not known. Recent
research has proven the ability of SDG to scavenge hydroxyl radicals.
The results showed that SDG has potent antioxidant activity.
the University of British Columbia, SDG and its mammalian lignans
enterodiol (ED) and enterolactone (EL) were evaluated in both lipid and
aqueous in vitro model systems. All three lignans significantly
inhibited the linoleic acid peroxidation and hydroxyl radicals, with ED
and EL providing more scavenging activity than SDG. It was included that
there is an efficacy of SDG and particularly the mammalian lignans ED
and EL to act as antioxidants. This is evidence of a potential anti
carcinogenic mechanism in the flaxseed lignan SDG and ED and EL.
a Study at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, tests
were performed to determine the effectiveness and potency of SDG
isolated from flaxseed as an antioxidant, along with its mammalian
metabolites secoisolariciresinol (SECO), Enterodiol (ED) and
Vitamin E was also tested for a comparison. The
results of the tests show that the metabolites of SDG have strong
antioxidant activity. In comparison to vitamin E, SDG was 1.27 times
more potent as an antioxidant. However, the lignan EL was 4.35 times,
more potent, SECO was 4.86 times more potent, and ED was 5.02 times more
potent than vitamin E.
The above studies showed that the higher the concentration of SDG, the greater the antioxidant effect.
American Cancer Society reports that one in eight women will contract
breast cancer. Unfortunately, breast cancer may be present for as long
as 4 years before it can be detected by mammography or self examination.
to Dr.Ross Pelton, author of Preventing Breast Cancer, the largest
misconception among women is that if they do not have a family history
of breast cancer, they are at low risk. This is simply untrue. Dr.
Pelton states that the majority of newly diagnosed cases of breast
cancer are in women with no family history of the disease. Standard
medical treatment for breast cancer includes lumpectomy (partial
removal of the breast), chemotherapy, and radiation.
of lignans containing SDG being effective in reducing breast cancer came
from the University Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth II Medical
Center, and Perth, Australia. In this controlled study, published in
Lancet, women with newly diagnosed breast cancer were interviewed by
means of questionnaires, and a 72-hour urine collection and blood sample
were taken. The urine samples were assayed for various plant
constituents including the lignans enterodiol and enterolactone. After
adjustments for age at first menstruation, parity, alcohol intake, and
total fat intake, high excretion of both equol (a plant estrogen) and
enterolactone was associated with a “substantial reduction in breast
cancer risk,” the researchers stated. They further concluded: “There is
a substantial reduction in breast-cancer risk among women with high
intake (as measured by excretion) of phytoestrogens, particularly the
isoflavonic phytoestrogen equol and the lignan enterolactone. These
findings could be important in the prevention of breast cancer.”
help prevent or reduce breast cancer partly due to the facts that the
lignan constituents in plants, such as SDG in flaxseed, resembles the
female hormone estrogen. Lignans are thus classified as
phytoestrogens. Like other phytoestrogens, they hook onto the same
spots (receptors) on the cells where estrogen attaches. When natural
estrogen is abundant in the body, lignans reduce estrogen’s effects by
displacing it from cells. This displacement of the hormone can help
prevent those cancers, such as breast cancer, that depend on estrogen to
start and develop
In a 1996 study, SDG was tested for effects on
mammary tumor genesis in rats. The consumption of the flaxseed lignan
SDG resulted in a 37% reduction in the number of tumors per
tumor-bearing rat, and a 46% reduction in the number of tumors per
number of rats in each group. This study showed that SDG has an
anti-tumor effect when provided at the early promotion stage of tumor
genesis. Another study was conducted to determine if the lignan SDG
could reduce mammary tumor growth at the late stage of carcinogenesis.
Flax SDG supplementation began 13 weeks after carcinogen administration
to see if it would reduce the size of established mammary tumors
(present at the start of treatment), and the appearance of new tumors in
rats. After 7 weeks of SDG treatment established tumors volume was
over 50% smaller in all treatment groups, while there was no change on
the rats on the normal control diet. New tumor number and volume were
also lower in the SDG group. The conclusions were that SDG is
beneficial throughout the promotional phase of carcinogenesis, and at
the stage when tumors have already been established.
In a similar
study, not only did the use of SDG inhibit mammary tumor development in
rats, but it was also noted that certain growth factors were lowered.
It is known that increased plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I)
concentration are associated with increased breast cancer risk. Thus
the anti-cancer effect of flaxseed SDG may also be related, in part, to
reductions it causes in plasma IGF-I. During lactation, breast
development occurs involving the terminal end bud (TEB) structures in
the breast. A test was conducted to see if flaxseed lignans affected
the development of the mammary gland in rats during lactation. This was
important because mammary glands with more TEBs are more susceptible to
carcinogens. The results were that lignans taken during early
postnatal life may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Thus
lignans work in several different ways to fight breast cancer. Colon
Cancer There are various factors that put people are risk for colon
cancer: lack of dietary fiber and calcium, a buildup of toxins in the
colon, continued constipation and/ or diarrhea, polyps, a high
Since the plant lignan SDG is converted into
the mammalian lignans enterolactone and enterodiol directly within the
colon, SDG is particularly effective in combating cancer of the colon.
a 1992 study, it was discovered that flaxseed ingestion produced anti
carcinogenic lignans in the colon. This study determined that flaxseed
decreases the risk for colon carcinogenesis. Following an injection of
azoxymethane (to induce carcinogenesis) five groups of male rats were
fed a high-fat diet with or without supplementation with flax meal for 4
weeks. In the colons of the supplemented groups, it was discovered
that the total number of aberrant crypt and foci were significantly
reduced by 41-53% and 4857% respectively. This suggests that
consumption of flaxseed and its lignans may reduce the risk for colon
carcinogenesis. The above study shows that SDG lignan over the short
term decreases some early markers of colon cancer risks. Studies at the
University of Toronto Department of Nutritional Medicine were conducted
which showed that over the long term flaxseed lignan still exerts a
colon cancer protective effect. Six groups of rats were fed 100 days
either a regular diet of one supplemented with 2.5% or 5% defatted
flaxseed. All rats were injected with a single dose of azoxymethane one
week prior to commencing the dietary treatments. This was done to
induce colon cancer. The rats which were fed the defatted flax had
significantly reduced number of aberrant crypts in the distal colon
compared to the control group. It was concluded that flaxseed had colon
cancer protective effect due, in part, to the lignan SDG and that the
productive effect of flaxseed and SDG is associated with increased
Another research was performed which
involved the mammalian lignans enterolactone (EL) and enterodiol (ED),
which are derived from SDG. In this research, four human colon tumor
cell lines were incubated with various levels of EL, ED, or 17
betal-estradiol for 8 to 10 days. At 100 microM concentration, both
lignans significantly reduced cell proliferation of all cell lines. EL
was more than twice as effective as ED at this concentration. The
growth was not affective by the presence of 17 beta-estradiol, implying
that these cells are not estrogen-sensitive. The conclusion was the
lignans are growth inhibitors of colon tumor cells and may act through
mechanisms other than antiestrogenic activity.
is currently the ninth leading cause of death in America. The most
common from diabetes, Mellitus, is generally divided into two
categories: type 1, called insulin dependent or juvenile diabetes, and
type 2, called adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Several
studies at the University of Saskatchewan indicate that the lignan SDG
from flaxseed can help prevent or significantly delay the development of
diabetes. In a study with rats published in 2001, Dr. Prasad of the
College of Medicine, Physiology Department found that SDG reduced
development of adult-onset (type 2) diabetes by 80 percent, and delays
the development of the disease significantly. The finding of this study
builds on Prasad’s previously published studies involving two animal
models of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. These two studies showed that SDG
reduced the development of the type 1 diabetes by 71 and 75 percent
respectively. Prasad has shown that both type 1 and type 2 diabetes
are associated with oxidative stress (increase in toxic metabolites of
oxygen known as oxygen free radicals). But because of SDG’s potent
antioxidant activity, its ingestion is effective in preventing and
reducing the development of diabetes by reducing this oxidative stress.
As a complex carbohydrate, lignans can help reduce blood sugar levels.
Prasad stresses that diabetes patients would have to consume very large
amounts of whole flax seed to get enough SDG to provide the equivalent
beneficial effect found in the animal studies. Drawbacks to doing this
would also include high calorie intake (flaxseed is 35-40 percent oil)
and a laxative effect. For that reason, SDG extracts derived from newly
developed extraction methods would be needed.
is well known that flax oil fights heart disease by lowing dangerous
LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and reducing the buildup of
atherosclerotic plaque on artery walls. But now, evidence is revealing
that SDG lignan in a concentrated form has an equal or greater effect in
fighting heart disease. Researchers produced an extract from flax
meal consisting of 99% pure SDG which was fed (15 mg/kg body weight) to
rabbits on a high cholesterol diet for a period of 8 weeks. Another
group was also fed a high cholesterol diet but received no SDG
treatment. After 8 weeks, it was discovered that the addition of SDG
resulted in a 73% reduction in atherosclerotic plaques (fatty deposits)
compared to the untreated rabbits. It was also noted that there was a
33% reduction in serum cholesterol and an increase in the “good” or
protective cholesterol in the SDG-fed rabbits. This shows that flaxseed
SDG is effective in reducing hypercholesterolemia atherosclerosis
(hardening of the arteries due to high cholesterol).
of SDG in reducing atherosclerosis is partly due to its antioxidant
activity. Oxygen free radicals have been implicated in the development
of the disease. Dr. Prasad states that oxygen free radicals damage the
lining of the blood vessels and set the stage for development of
atherosclerosis. SDG antioxidant activity has the ability to remove
toxic metabolites of oxygen or free radicals, thus retarding
atherosclerosis. Recent work from the University of Saskatchewan has
demonstrated the reduction of hypercholesterolemia atherosclerosis is
greater with SDG that with the whole flaxseed. The decrease is
associated with a reduction of serum cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.
These studies show the need for a more pureand concentrated form of
lignan that in most “lignan flax oils” in order to obtain the greatest
benefit it offers against heart disease.
In a study of 29
hyperlipidemic subjects who were placed on a diet of 50 grams of
partially defatted flaxseed, their LDL cholesterol was reduced 7.6%
after only three weeks. Since there was no oil in the flaxseed, the
component responsible for those effects was the lignans. In one test,
several dogs were pretreated with lignan-rich flaxseed. The pretreated
attenuated endotoxin induced cardiac dysfunction and cellular damage.
Thus, the lignan’s antioxidant and anti-PAF agents may be effective in
the treatment of endotoxic shock.
kidneys are the major regulators of the water, electrolyte, and
acid-base (pH) content of the blood and, indirectly, all body fluids.
Kidney disease is often the result of damage done to kidneys by exposure
to certain drugs or toxins, heavy metals, solvents, poisons, or
pesticides. Impaired kidney function can also accompany or result from
other disorders, such as diabetes, lupus, hypertension, and liver
disease. There is growing evidence that dietary phytoestrogens, such
as flax lignan, have a beneficial role in chronic renal (kidney)
disease. Recent findings from dietary intervention studies performed in
animals and humans suggest that consumption of flaxseed rich in lignans
retards the development and progression of chronic renal disease.
a study involving the dietary supplementation of flax lignan, the
researchers measured the existence of proteinuria, or protein in the
urine, which is a sign of severe renal disease. Mice with lupus were
fed a diet supplemented with 15% flaxseed for 14 weeks. The flaxseed
diet significantly delayed the onset of proteinuria. Further, the
incidence of proteinuria was lower in the flaxseed diet group compared
to the control diet group. It was also noted that lignans produce
specific reversible and competitive inhibitions of PAF. This PAF factor
has been implicated with the onset of renal injury. Mortality was
lower in the flaxseed-fed mice. In a study at the University Of
Manitoba, it was discovered that lignans in flaxseed improve kidney
function in certain types of kidney diseases. When rats with kidney
dysfunctions were given flaxseed in their diet, it preserved renal
function and reduced histological injury.
Flaxseed has been
investigated in both immune and non-immune models of renal injury. It
was concluded that both models, flaxseed was beneficial in slowing the
decline in renal function. Studies comparing defatted flaxseed meal
with full fat meal indicate that components other than the oil, such as
fiber or lignans, have desirable properties in some aspects of renal
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that
can affect many of the body’s organs and skin. On the skin it is
characterized by remissions and exacerbations of a scaling, red, macular
rash. Late in the disease patients suffer significant morbidity and
mortality from kidney failure and accelerated vascular disease with
heart attacks, strokes and other atherogenic complications. There is no
cure and complete remissions are rare. Lupus is an autoimmune disease,
which means the immune system forms antibodies that attack the body’s
own cells and tissue. At least 90 percent of those that contract the
disease are women. It usually develops between the ages of 18 to 35.
There are two types of lupus: Systematic lupus erythematous (SLE) and
discoid lupus erythematous (DLE). The SLE type of lupus is a systematic
disease that affects many different parts of the body. The DLE type of
lupus is a less serious disease that primarily attacks the skin.
Research at the University of Western Ontario indicates that SDG has a
therapeutic role in animal and human lupus nephritis. It is known that
in patients with lupus nephritis (SLE) there is an increase in the
production of platelet activating factors (PAF), and a disease in their
metabolism. Platelets are the fragments of megakaryocytes (large cells
in the bone marrow) which get into the blood. Lignans acts as PAF
receptor antagonists, which means the lignans reduce the accumulation
PAF’s. In this study, a group of mice with induced lupus were fed a
diet supplemented with 15% flaxseed, and another group was fed an
isocaloric control diet. Both groups of mice were administered an
intravenous lethal dose of PAF (25 pg/kg body weight) for one week. The
animals fed the flaxseed diet survived the lethal injection of PAF.
Furthermore, the PAF-induced platelet aggregation was significantly
inhibited in the flaxseed-fed mice. A similar test was conducted with
eight lupus patients. The patients were given 15, 30, and 45 grams of
flaxseed per day for four weeks. PAF-induced platelet aggregation was
inhibited by all doses. In conclusion, the flaxseed conferred
significant benefits in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis. While more
research is pending with lupus cases, all tests show very beneficial
results from lignan-rich flaxseed.
biological properties of lignans have several beneficial effects for
men. Their potent anti-estrogenic effect has drawn the interest of
bodybuilders who are always looking to increase their testosterone to
estrogen ratio. Flax lignans offer a natural way to do it without
adverse side effects.
Lignans may also offer a benefit to those
men who are athletic, do heavy lifting or strenuous work by preventing
damage to muscles. It was demonstrated that rats which were pretreated
with lignan-enriched extract were protected against physical exercise induced muscle damage.
of the prostate gland is the second leading cause of cancer death among
men. It is a disease that primarily occurs in men over sixty years
old. By the age of eighty, 80 percent of all men have prostate cancer
to some degree. Fortunately, in most cases, prostate cancer is a
slow-growing cancer, doubling in mass every six years. Like all
cancers, the rate of prostate cancer is rising in the United States.
Part of the reason is due to high unhealthy-fat diets and exposure to
chemicals. Current treatments are radical prostatectomy and radiation
therapy. Flaxseed ingestion produces large amounts of mammalian lignans
with weak estrogenic / anti-estrogenic properties. In tests, these
properties reduced adult relative prostate weight and cell
proliferation, suggesting potential protection against prostatic
disease, without affecting sex hormone levels. Researchers from the
University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, United Kingdom,
determined the concentration of lignans in prostate fluid from
Portuguese, Chinese, and British men. The mean concentrations of
enterolactone and other plant estrogens were very high among Portuguese
and Asian men, respectively. The research team concluded that the level
of lignans and related plant estrogens may be responsible, in part, for
lower incidence of prostate cancer in men from Mediterranean
countries. It is also noted that vegetarian men have lower incidence
of prostate cancer than non- vegetarian males. This is partly due to
the higher level of plant lignans consumed by vegetarians. In addition
to their estrogenic activity, these plant compounds can interfere with
steroid metabolism and bioavailability, and also inhibit enzymes, such
as tyrosine kinase and topoisomerase, which are crucial to cellular
proliferation and hence contribute to lower incidences of prostate cancer.
very recent study involved twenty-five patients with prostate cancer
which were given a lignan-rich flaxseed supplementation. The results
show a favorable effect on prostate cancer biology and associated
Skin Cancer & Melanoma
There are several
different types of skin cancers, some of which are benign and other
malignant. An estimated 600,000 Americans develop some type of skin
cancer each year, and over 10,000 die from the disease. A recent review
suggests that both isoflavonoids and lignans are natural cancer
protective compounds and are useful against skin cancer. Researchers
from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University School
of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska, investigated the effect of dietary
supplementation of flaxseed, the richest source of lignans, on
experimental melanoma cells. Flax reduced tumor occurrence by up to
63%. The addition of flaxseed to the diet also caused a dose dependent
decrease on tumor area and volume, showing that it could be beneficial
in both prevention and treatment. Further, the rich source of lignans
reduced a metastasis (the spread of cancerous cells) and inhibited the growth of the metastatic secondary tumors in the animals tested.
lignans are phytoestrogens, they are effective in treating several
health issues for women. If there is little estrogen in the body (after
menopause, for example), lignans may act like weak estrogen; but when
natural estrogen is abundant in the body, lignans may instead reduce
estrogen’s effects by displacing it from the cells. As discussed
earlier, this displacement of the hormone can help prevent breast
cancer. This chemical resemblance to estrogen gives lignan it
agonist or antagonist properties to the estrogenic receptor site. A
clinical study has shown that SDG phytoestrogen in particular, exhibits
agonist properties to the estrogen receptor. This property is of
specific value to post-menopause women, which typically exhibit low
estrogen levels. Women consuming lignan-rich flaxseed products
generally report a reduction in breast tenderness, bloating, hot
flashes, sweating, vaginal dryness, and other systems related to PMS and
menopause. This is due to the lignan’s estrogenic activity. For
years, people have been attempting to control menstrual cycles.
Controlling menstrual cycles has several health benefits including
decreasing the risk of breast cancer. Lignans in flaxseed have been
shown to regulate women’s menstrual cycles. In one study, women
consuming lignans in flaxseed did not miss a single cycle, compared to
the control group that missed several cycles. In another study women
supplemented their diet with a dose of 10 g/day of flax. It resulted in
elevated progesterone / estradiol ratios in the luteal phase. This was
due to a decreased strsdoil concentration. The concentration of lignans
measured in the urine showed the level of lignans absorbed. Thus, flax
lignan clearly has a significant impact in controlling women’s
In a study with rats, the effect of flax and its
lignan SDG was compared with tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen drug, by
monitoring rat estrous cycling. After four weeks 66% of the rats taking
flax SDG had more regular cycling produced by a cessation or
lengthening (by 18-39%) of estrous cycles. In the rats given tamoxifen,
83% of the animals had irregular cycles or were in persistent
diestrus. The conclusion was that flaxseed and SDG were effective in
being ant estrogenic without gross tissue toxicity. The control which
lignan has over the menstrual cycle has an influence on cancer growth.
This is because the less time a woman spends in the luteal phase, the lower the risk of breast cancer.
study of twenty-eight postmenopausal women was conducted in which they
consumed lignan-rich flaxseed. The supplementation significantly
increased urinary excretion of the estrogen metabolites
2-hydroxyestrogen and 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone. These results suggest
that lignan from flaxseed may have chemo-protective effects in
postmenopausal women. Because of the potential effects lignans have on
estrogen, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid taking
large amounts of this supplement. It is considered safe when used in
moderation at such times.
Other Uses & Treatments
is evidence that lignans are anti-parasitic. In one test, vitamin E
deficient diets containing 5 to 20% ground flaxseed protected mice
against the malarial parasite Plasmodium voelii as shown by decrease parasitemia and enhanced survival.
supplementation with SDG, the lignan from flaxseed, significantly
reduced pulmonary metastasis of melanoma cells and inhibited the growth
of metastasis tumors that formed in the lungs. This may aid in the
fight against lung cancer.
There is clinical and laboratory
evidence which indicates that phytoestrogens, such as flaxseed lignan,
have an anti-proliferation effect on the breast, and positive effects on the lipoprotein profile and bone density.
lignan is useful for pets and livestock. Flax has been used since
antiquity to maintain healthy animals. In cattle its reported uses
included the correction of digestive disturbances in calves, easier
calving, and reduction of certain infectious diseases such as
hoof-and-mouth. Horse owners have reported using it to produce glossy
looking coats and to the diets of pets to improve their appearance and
Flaxseed and its lignan have been shown to reduce
inflammatory responses but did not prevent macrophages (cells of the
immune system) from killing bacteria. The research of Dr. W. Clark
involving lupus revealed that lignans are beneficial for reducing inflammation.
History of Flax
is one of the most ancient of useful herbs. Its Latin name, Linum
Usitatissimum, means “most useful.” The usefulness of the flax to
humankind predates earliest recorded history. Archaeologists discovered
remnants of linen, the cloth derived from flax, in Stone Age Swiss Lake villages.
Book of Exodus and the Talmud both mention the cultivation of flax.
Ancient Egyptians grew flax along the Nile and wove linen fabrics for
clothing, bed sheets, diapers, sails, even wrapping for mummies.
Recently, at an archeological site in a small village near the
headwaters of the Tigris River in Turkey, a small piece of linen made
from flax was found wrapped around a tool handle. This artifact was
dated about 7,000 B.C. and is believed to be the oldest piece of cloth
ever discovered. Flax was also used for culinary purposes.
Flaxseed excavated from ancient Greek archeological sites has been dated
back to 1900 to 1700 B.C. and the use of flaxseed is inscribed on
tables at Pylos. Both the Greek historian Thucydides and the Roman
historian Pliny mention the use of flax for food. In fact, so impressed
with this gift of nature, Pliny wrote, “What department is to be found
in active life in which flax is not employed?” Of flax, Bartholomew had
this to say, “No herb is so needed, and has so many uses to mankind as
flax.” And Dioscorides extolled flaxseed’s power for “reducing all
inflammation inwardly and outwardly.” As time progressed the role of
flax in human usage evolved further still. Hippocrates encouraged the
use of flaxseed for the relief of abdominal pains, while Theophrastus
recommended flax meal in hot compresses for the treatment of both
external and internal ailments. The value of flax to these early
cultures is reflected in the rich folklore that surrounds the plant.
After the fall of the Roman Empire flax cultivation waned until the
eighth century A.D. when French leader, Charlemagne, so impressed with
herb’s culinary, medicinal, and domestic usefulness, passed laws and
regulations requiring its cultivation and consumption. Flax was much
loved and widely cultivated throughout Europe and its cultivation and
use continued to expand to other lands and cultures.
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|Dimensions||8 × 8 × 13 cm|
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