100% Organic Pure Ground Flaxseed
Product Description
Whole ground flaxseed is readily available in most nutrition shops and online. Flaxseed is an inexpensive food product with many health benefits. We currently do not offer whole ground flaxseed. However, our flaxseed lignan product contains just the hulls of the flaxseed, where the nutrients reside. Our product contains 20 times more lignan than whole ground flaxseed.

Our flaxseed is a grain product grown here in the USA that has health benefits from the meat (embryo) of the flaxseed and additional health benefits from the hull of the flaxseed. Ground flax seed has both the meat and the hull ground together, making it one of the most nutrient rich food products on the planet. The embryo contains the oil, which has heart friendly omega 3 fatty acids and the hulls contain the lignans, which have been shown to reduce colon cancer and people with higher lignan intake have been reported to reduced reproductive related cancers.*

Flaxseed is a great source of fiber (lignans) and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Ground flaxseed has been shown to lower cholesterol and has been indicated in other health benefits including heart health, breast health and prostate health. Flax may also help control blood sugar levels. Flax should be consumed with a large glass of water due to its fiber content.

Additional Health Benefits of Flaxseed

Flaxseed has also been shown to lower blood pressure. It has been reported to reduce the stickiness of platelets, which may reduce the risk of heart attack. The lignans found in the hull of the flaxseed have been shown to reduce breast cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer. Ground flaxseed has been indicated in the reduction of colon cancer as well.

Flaxseed Lignans-What’s Their Story?

By Daniel Best

After heart disease, America’s second most prolific killer is cancer. Small wonder, therefore, that so many consumers and scientists seek new, natural, and benign sources of protection against this dread disease condition. This story isn’t about treating or preventing cancer, however. It is about a new category of powerful, natural compounds that exhibit tremendous potential for boosting peoples’ defenses against a broad range of degenerative and debilitative health conditions, including osteoporosis, kidney disease, circulatory problems and post-menopause hormonal fluctuations. Whereas the results of the accumulated research on lignans (note: as distinct from lignins, a form of dietary fiber) to date cannot be deemed conclusive, results have been very, very intriguing.

What and Where?

Poll any number of consumers and natural health aficionados today regarding which nutraceutical captures most of their attention, the answer would probably be either “omega-3s,” “pre-biotics,” or “glucosamine.” “Lignans” just haven’t climbed that high on the recognition scale—yet. These compounds are complex, they derive from a variety of food sources, and there is no clear understanding of how they work.

Lignans are complex polycyclic compounds that exhibit strong phytoestrogenic and, in many cases, strong antioxidant activity. Phytoestrogens are plant- derived compounds that weakly mimic the action of estrogenic hormones (e.g., estrogen, testosterone). Phytoestrogens recently have generated considerable interest for their potential in blocking the negative effects of estrogenic hormones in aging humans—as an HRT (hormone replacement therapy) alternative, for example, or as a protective agent against prostate cancer. Soy isoflavones, the subject of so much nutraceutical attention of late, are also phytoestrogens.

The range of products that contain significant lignan activity is broad: cereals, fruits, vegetables, even wines (especially red wine). In North America, the most concentrated source of lignans is flaxseed, an oilseed, where lignan is present primarily as SDG (secoisolariciresinol diglycoside). “At least three published works have documented that the lignans in flaxseed were between 75 and 800 times higher than for other plant foods. Thus, flaxseed should be considered a rich source,” said North Dakota State University professor Clifford Hall III, a flax specialist.

Scandinavian research has focused more on lignans from spruce wood knots (7-hydroxymetairesinol) or rye (both SDG and metairesinol). Flaxseed contains approximately 1,000 mg lignans per 100 g flaxseed (or 1.0 percent) by weight, whereas rye, the richest grain-based source of lignans, contains approximately 100 mg/100 g rye (0.1 percent) by weight. The phytoestrogen content of rye compares favorably with the isoflavone phytoestrogen content in soy (0.05-0.4 percent). Concentrations of lignans can vary within a seed: In flaxseed, for example, lignans are found primarily in the outer bran of the seed. (See table).

Nutraceutical Overview

Though the bulk of research that demonstrates protective effects from lignan consumption has been conducted using animal models, recent human studies on lignans look promising. For example:

• During the 2000 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dr. Lilian Thompson of the University of Toronto’s department of nutritional sciences disclosed that a limited study of post-menopausal breast-cancer patients had discovered that subjects fed 25 g per day of flaxseed exhibited reduced rates of tumor development and proliferation, at rates similar to that which would have been expected with tamoxifen treatments. No ill side effects were reported. Flaxseed supplementation was also found to reduce symptoms of mastalgia (breast pain) in women.

• A 2001 study, published in the Journal of Urology (Demark-Wahnefried, W. et al, 58: pp. 47-52) observed that a group of prostate cancer patients fed 30g of flaxseed (on a low-fat diet) per day exhibited reduced PSA scores and tumor- cell proliferation.

• Epidemiological studies of women in the San Francisco Bay area (see Horn- Ross, P.L. et al, J. of Epidemiology, 151: 2002, 765-772 and J. of Natl. Cancer Institute, 95(15): 2003, 1158-1164) correlated the consumption of both lignan and isoflavone phytoestrogens to reduced thyroid and endometrial cancer risks.

• A review article by the University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Kailash Prasad (Drug News Perspective, 13(2): 2000, 99-104) concluded that flaxseed’s documented total-cholesterol and LDL-lowering effects are more likely attributable to its SDG lignan content than to its omega-3s.

• A number of studies (see, for example, Brzezinski, A. et al, Menopause, 4: 1997, 89-94) have linked the consumption of lignan or soy isoflavone phytoestrogens to reduced menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms in women. However, more time and research are needed.

Nutraceuticals document the potential for lignan consumption to inhibit serum cholesterol synthesis and reduce the incidence of diabetes (Type I and II), atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Metabolic Mechanisms

How do lignans work? A number of researchers, including Thompson and Joanne Slavin (University of Minnesota), have delineated the metabolic cascade whereby lignans are converted by intestinal bacteria into enterodiol and enterolactone, the phytoestrogenic form of (most) lignans. Consumption of high lignan foods correlates well with increased levels of enterodiol and enterolactone excretion. “We have conducted studies looking at the estrogen metabolites in women before and after feeding them flaxseed. In both pre- and post-menopausal women, flax consumption, either Flaxseed 5 or 10 g per day, increased the 2-hydroxy/16-alpha estrogen soy ratio, a protective biomarker for breast cancer,” said Slavin.

Enterolactone, according to this line of investigation, dis- places estrogen molecules on cellular estrogen receptors —replacing the stronger metabolic effects of estrogen with their own weak estrogenic activity, thereby attenuating the damaging long-term effects of estrogen on tissue cells.

Other mechanisms have been postulated whereby SDG, metairesinol or enterolactone actually inhibit the progress of carcinogenesis, supported by both in-vitro and in-vivo animal studies. Proposed mechanisms include the blockage of estrogen synthesis through enzymatic (e.g., aromatase) inhibition, the down-regulation of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1), and antioxidant activity.

The fact is, some lignans (like SDG and metairesinol) are very powerful antioxidants. A recent study, published in the J. of Food Engineering (Niemeyer, H.B. and M. Metzler, 56: 2003, pp.255256), measured the antioxidant value of SDG and matairesinol, enterodiol, and enterolactone using the Ferric Reducing/ Antioxidant Power assay (FRAP) and determined that these lignans had a higher antioxidant activity than even ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Another study (Kangas Lauri et al., European J. of Cancer Prevention, 11: 2002, S48-57) determined that purified hydroxy-matairesinol has a greater antioxidant activity than either BHA or BHT, the commonly utilized synthetic food antioxidants. The antioxidant properties of lignans also have great implications for health and well-being —antioxidants are powerful anti-inflammatory agents believed to play significant roles in the support of circulatory system, coronary-heart, blood serum, immune system and kidney health.

Lignans are very active compounds with strong nutraceutical potential, whatever the mechanism(s) by which they may exert their effects. A complicating factor is that lignan-rich foodstuffs also tend to be rich in other nutraceutical factors.

Flaxseed, for example, also contains a very high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids (22 percent), to which anti-inflammatory properties, serum cholesterol reduction, reduced cancer- and cardiovascular- disease risks, and enhanced immune system health have also been attributed. Both flaxseed and rye contain very significant levels of other polyphenolic antioxidants, tocopherols and tocotrienols. Flaxseed, for example, contains an additional 0.8 percent - 1.5 percent (by weight) of the strongly antioxidant polyphenolics trans-ferulic, p-coumaric, trans-synaptic, and trans-caffeic acids, according to researchers at the Canadian Grain Commission (see Daun, J. et al, in Flaxseed in Human Nutrition-2nd Ed., ed.

L. Thompson and S. Cunane, 2003, AOCS Press). High-lignan grains and oilseeds also contain significant levels of phytic acid. Once viewed as an antinutritional factor for its tendency to complex with key minerals, phytic acid has gained respect within the nutraceutical community for its ability to chelate pro-oxidant minerals (like iron). There are also reports that phytic acid may inhibit the digestion of and thereby reduce the Glycemic Index of starches, of significant benefit to diabetes patients. Some animal studies suggest that dietary phytic acid may reduce the incidence of colon cancer.

“Because flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of omega 3 oils and lignans, these two components have received the most attention. However, fiber and protein fractions may also provide health benefits such as lowering cholesterol,” cautioned Hall at North Dakota State University. Both flaxseed and rye contain very significant levels of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber (28 percentTDF in the case of flaxseed, 15 percent in the case of rye), the consumption of which, again, confers many of the same benefits associated with lignans (improved cardiovascular health, improved serum lipid profiles, reduced cancer- and diabetes risks).

Lignan-containing foods represent complex nutraceutical systems. It will remain difficult, for the foreseeable future, to untangle the multiple nutraceutical roles of lignans from those of other phytonutrients. Are the effects of lignans independent or synergistic? It’s far too early to say!

“I am convinced that it is the entire flaxseed that confers the desired protection— we need the fiber, the lignans, the omega-3s. I see this as the safest method to supplement right now,” opined U. of Minnesota’s Slavin.

“Until we understand more about the complex interrelationships between these ingredients, it is important that food and nutraceutical manufacturers not tamper with the natural food matrix within which lignans are found,” concurred Kelley Fitzpatrick, marketing director for the University of Manitoba’s new Functional Food & Nutraceuticals Center (Winnipeg).

Product Developments

The identification of foodstuffs high in lignan activity offers intriguing possibilities: not only for their use in nutraceutically concentrated supplements, but also as food ingredients.

Both flaxseed and rye, for example, appear to be a) strong antioxidants and b) rich in soluble fibers that contribute thickening and emulsifying properties. Can ingredient systems be developed around these products so as to contribute both nutraceutical and functional properties to foods? The functional limitations of each ingredient (flavor for rye, thickening properties for flaxseed) generally mean that they will most often function better as minor (versus macro) ingredients in food formulations. The water absorbing properties of flaxseed (due to its mucilage fiber content) generally restrict its use in bread formulations to 15 percent (flour basis), for example.

Consider the example of soy and flax: soymilk, in which soy is a “macro” ingredient, can be significant source of isoflavones phytoestrogens. Adding a small amount of flax (2.2 percent) to an 18 percent soy milk concentrate (13oBrix) can increase the phytoestrogen content of the beverage from 30-mg to 80-mg per 8-oz serving, in addition to omega-3s and other nutraceuticals contributed by flaxseed.

For formulations wherein flaxseed’s thickening properties limit its application, substitution of whole, ground flaxseed with high-lignan flaxseed bran can contribute lignans and polyphenols at a much smaller use level. Using the Trolox antioxidant assay, flaxseed bran was recently analyzed to contain about 12-times the antioxidant power of blueberries and blackberries.

For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is improved nutraceutical knowledge, it should become much easier and desirable to incorporate lignans into a broad variety of foods and supplements.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to cure or prevent any known disease.

DISCLAIMER: * These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult with your physician before taking any food supplements.