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Selecting Lignan Rich Flax Products
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Selecting Lignan Rich Flax Products

How to Select a Lignan Rich Flax Product

Lignans in Foods and Supplements
Not all flax ingredients are created equal when it comes to lignan content. According to the Flax Council of Canada, flaxseed contains between 0.7 and 1.9 percent SDG. The lignans are concentrated in the fibrous hulls of flaxseed, so processing can remove them. This is why flax oil is essentially void of lignans, although flax oil enriched with ground flax (containing lignans) is widely available. However, the amount of SDG obtained from a lignanenriched flax oil depends on two things: how many lignans were in the flaxseed to begin with and how well the flaxseed particles mix with the oil. Flaxseed is not soluble in oil, so it resists mixing with the oil and settles at the bottom. Results of independent testing have shown a wide range of lignan content in products that are commercially available.
New Lignan Ingredients
Commercial methods for extracting lignans from flax are now available, making it possible for food and supplement companies to add lignans to their products. Until now, consumers could never be sure of the amount of lignans in the flax products they were buying-- although they knew that flax is the richest source of these beneficial compounds. Now companies will be able to make products with flax lignans and guarantee the lignan content. Today the only standardized flax lignan ingredient available is called LinumLife.. It is derived from flax hulls and contains the highest level of lignans available on the market--10 to 30 times more lignans than conventional flax ingredients. It was recently created to fill a void in the marketplace, after researchers realized the health benefits lignans can provide to individuals but found no lignan formulas on store shelves. LinumLife’s high lignan level makes small dosages possible for application in dietary supplements and functional foods.
How much do I need?
Currently there are no set guidelines for lignan intake but science gives us some indication. Human clinical trials studying lignans have used 5, 10 and 25 grams of flaxseed per day, although some studies have safely used larger amounts (30 and 40 grams). One rounded tablespoon of flaxseed is equal to about 10 grams. This amount provides approximately 40 to 150 mg of lignans according to the Flax Council of Canada. Although this is a wide range, commercial ingredients, such as LinumLife, that are standardized for lignan content, will allow manufacturers to add a daily intake of 40 mg of lignans to their products more conveniently.
LinumLife is now available nationwide in a number of dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health products. One of the first such products is FlaxEssence, from Jarrow Formulas.
Where Can I Learn More About Lignans?
For more information on flax lignans visit: