Lignans are a phytoestrogen as found in flax, sesame, rye, wheat, oat, barley, brassica vegetables, and red wine.
Links to Plants Containing Lignans
The listings of research below represents a compilation of scientific articles found on the topic, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. This compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use of any herb listed.
- In rats, lignans in flaxseed reduced the early phase of carcinogenesis whereas the oil component was more effective at the stage when tumors were already established. From: Thompson, L. U., Rickard, S. E., Orcheson, L. J., & Seidl, M. M. (1996). SHORT COMMUNICATION: Flaxseed and its lignan and oil components reduce mammary tumor growth at a late stage of carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis, 17(6), 1373-1376.
- Lignans in flaxseed had an antitumor effect when provided at the early promotion stage of tumorigenesis in rats. From: Thompson, L. U., Seidl, M. M., Rickard, S. E., Orcheson, L. J., & Fong, H. H. (1996). Antitumorigenic effect of a mammalian lignan precursor from flaxseed.
- Flaxseed lignans had a colon cancer protective effect in rats. From: Jenab, M., & Thompson, L. U. (1996). The influence of flaxseed and lignans on colon carcinogenesis and β-glucuronidase activity. Carcinogenesis, 17(6), 1343-1348.
- Lignans in flaxseed showed antioxidant activities in vitro at relatively low concentrations and may be the potential anticarcinogenic mechanism. From: Kitts, D. D., Yuan, Y. V., Wijewickreme, A. N., & Thompson, L. U. (1999). Antioxidant activity of the flaxseed lignan secoisolariciresinol diglycoside and its mammalian lignan metabolites enterodiol and enterolactone. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 202(1), 91-100.
- Lignans from flaxseed reduced cholesterol and atherosclerosis in rabbits. From Prasad, K. (2005). Hypocholesterolemic and antiatherosclerotic effect of flax lignan complex isolated from flaxseed. Atherosclerosis, 179(2), 269-275.
- Lignans in flaxseed reduced hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis by lowering LDL cholesterol in rabbits. From: Prasad, K. (1999). Reduction of serum cholesterol and hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis in rabbits by secoisolariciresinol diglucoside isolated from flaxseed. Circulation, 99(10), 1355-1362.
- Type 2 diabetes was found to be associated with oxidative stress and that flaxseed phytoestrogens reduced these in rats. From: Prasad, K. (2001). Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside from flaxseed delays the development of type 2 diabetes in Zucker rat. Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 138(1), 32-39.
By: Kathy Sadowski