Flax hull lignans are organic foods with rich biological properties that combat diseases and promote good health. Lignans are plants’ estrogen naturally occurring in the hulls of various plant seeds but flax seed hulls have the highest concentration. Secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG) are the main phytoestrogens found in flax seeds. Phytoestrogens are plant chemicals that mimic the female hormone estrogen. Flax is a cultivated plant growing up to 1.2 m tall. The plant is green and has pale blue flowers which bear capsules containing several shiny brown seeds. Flax originated from the Mediterranean region and has been cultivated for over 7,000 years for making garments and for its medicinal value. Flax lignans were discovered in 1956. Numerous studies carried on them suggest that they may prevent the development of various cancers and have numerous health benefits.
Flax Hull Lignans Benefits
Flax hull lignans are linked to numerous health benefits which include:
Cardio vascular health and maintenance of healthy cholesterol – Flax hull lignans reduce both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol without affecting HDL (“good”) cholesterol according to MedlinePlus. There is also a significant reduction of plaque build-up in the arteries which helps maintain a healthy heart. According to an article in “Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism,” published in 2009, taking flax seed daily may lower cholesterol levels by 11% due to its lignans, omega-3 fats and fiber.
Preventing and combating cancer – Lignans in flax seed act like estrogen in the body which may help in lowering the risk of cancer. Lignans appear to reduce the growth of cancer cells. According to an article published in “Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety” in May 2010, lignans appear to slow the spread of hormone sensitive cancer cells which include breast, endometrial and prostate cancer cells.
Reducing negative effects of estrogen overload – Flax hull phytonutrients help in restoring hormonal balance and also promote normal ovulation.
Promotion of digestive tract health – Flax hull lignans have fiber which contributes in adding bulk and therefore boost daily regularity.
Maintenance of bone mineral density – Flax lignans protects bones against calcium loss which reduces bone density and may in turn expose one to unhealthy fragile bones.
Flax Hull Lignans Dosage
As a constipation remedy, 1 tablespoonful of lignans each day can relieve your symptoms considering the amount of fiber content in flax hulls. A tablespoonful of flax lignans is rich in magnesium which is very useful in controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, flax seed meal provides omega-3 fats and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which may lower the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease and arthritis. Lignans are easy to consume and 2 tablespoonfuls of the grounds can be blended into smoothies or added to cereals, salads, veggies, breads, muffins, pancakes and other home-made recipes.
Flax Hull Lignans Side effects
Use of flax hull lignans has not been associated with any significant adverse effects. Occasional side effects have however been reported with a sudden increase of flax lignans intake which include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and constipation. These can be avoided by taking small amounts of flax lignans in your diet. Consultation with your doctor before increasing your daily lignans amounts in your diet is therefore essential.
Flax hull lignans should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision for patients with kidney problems. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid high intake of purified lignans. A study carried out on pregnant rats that took large amounts of purified lignans in flax seed gave birth to baby rats with problematic reproductive organs. The lignans were also transferred to the offspring during nursing. Flax hull lignans may interfere with the performance of certain medications like blood thinners, birth control pills, diabetes medications, antibiotics and acetaminophen.