Flax Lignans reduce the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in middle aged men

February 26, 2008

Scientists from the Research Institute of Public Health, Kuopio, Finland state that enterolactone (the major Lignan derived from Flaxseed) reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, and cancer. Because of this prior research they checked the level of enterolactone in 1889 men aged 42 to 60 and followed them for over 12 years on average. The higher the level of enterolactone in the serum of these men the lower the risk of dying from coronary heart disease or other forms of cardiovascular disease. Enterolactone is what flaxseed lignans are changed into in our body. The study is published in the May 2003 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine; a journal of the American Medical Association.

Lignans help prevent hypertension in older women

Scientists at the University Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands, compared the intake of Lignans and blood pressure in 301 postmenopausal women. The scientists found that with increasing intake of plant Lignans there was a corresponding drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings with a decrease in the risk of developing high blood pressure. Even at low levels of intake Lignans improved blood pressure and helped prevent hypertension. The study is published in the July 2004 issue of the Journal of Hypertension.

Flaxseed has the potential to decrease breast cancer tumor growth

Flaxseed is the richest source of mammalian lignans and it has previously been shown to reduce the growth of tumors in rats. This study examines, in a randomized double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial, the effects of dietary flaxseed on breast cancer markers in postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.
Researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto gave 19 newly diagnosed women 25g of Flaxseed in a muffin and 13 women a placebo muffin for a little over a month. Tumor tissue was examined for the rate of cell growth and other important pathological factors at the time of diagnosis and again at the time of surgery. Lignan levels increased dramatically in the women on Flaxseed. The women on the Lignans had a decrease in breast cancer cell proliferation. Markers indicating a poor prognosis and resistance to treatment dropped when on the Lignan source and the Flax also caused breast cancer tumor cells to die. In conclusion the Flaxseed Lignan source has the potential to reduce tumor growth in patients with breast cancer. The study is published in the May 15th 2005 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Flaxseed Lignans protect brain function in older women

In this study 394 healthy, postmenopausal women on a Western diet had their mental health and intake of lignans and isoflavones examined. Using sophisticated testing techniques the researchers found that a higher intake of lignans was tied into better cognitive function and better mental performance. The protection was even more pronounced for women who were 20 to 30 years postmenopausal. The research was performed at the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands and is published in the May 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Flax Lignans improve hair loss in men

Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is the most common form of hair loss in both men and women. In AGA there is too high a level of the powerful male hormone DHT. DHT enters into the hair follicle and sends a signal for the follicle to miniaturize; the hair that then grows is thinner, brittle and likely to fall out. DHT also sends a signal to stop hair growth and eventually no hair will grow at all from this follicle.

The enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT is called 5-alpha reductase. Therefore if you can inhibit this enzyme the level of DHT will drop. Doing this in the follicle will slow the loss of hair and according to some studies eventually will allow the signal for hair growth to start again.

In this pilot study by researchers from the Netherlands, a small group of men with AGA were given 50mg of flax lignans daily for six-months from a high Lignan flax complex capsule. 80% of the men had modest improvement in hair loss and 10% had a great improvement; the effects were noticed within one or two months. The study is available through Acatris.Com.
Flaxseed with Lignans in conjunction with a low fat diet significantly slows the growth of the prostate, lowers PSA, and reduces cholesterol’

Scientists at the Division of Urologic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, undertook a pilot study to examine the effects of a flaxseed supplemented, fat restricted diet on men with BPH. Fifteen men who were scheduled to undergo repeat prostate biopsy followed the Flaxseed supplemented diet for six-months. At the six-month point their was a statistically significant drop in their PSA level of about 3 points, a 28 point drop in total cholesterol on average, and a significant inhibition of the growth of prostate cells. In fact some of the men no longer required follow-up biopsies because their PSA levels returned to normal. The study is published in the May 2004 issue of the journal Urology.