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High Lignan intake linked to healthier, thinner women

Feb 11, 2009

Women who consume greater amounts of lignans, the ingredient in seeds that is found especially in flaxseed, tend to have lower total body fat mass, says a new study from Canada. A study of 115 post-menopausal women showed that those with the highest blood levels of enterolactone, a Lignan metabolite, had a BMI 4 kg/m2 less than women with the lowest average blood levels, according to results published online ahead of print in the British Journal of Nutrition.  

Moreover, the highest blood levels of enterolactone were also associated with 8.5 kg less body fat, compared to women with the lowest levels, report researchers from Laval University in Quebec. The main Lignan from flaxseed is secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), which is metabolised to give enterodiol and enterolactone. These two metabolites are then absorbed from the gut and transported to the liver where they undergo further reactions before entering circulation.  

A number of studies have reported links between increased dietary Lignan intake, and/or increased levels of enterolactone and/or enterodiol and protection/ reduced risk of a wide range of conditions, most notably breast cancer, prostate cancer, and reduced hair loss. The study is published online ahead of print in the British Journal of Nutrition.