A lignan is basically a sort of polyphenolic amalgam that is naturally present in a number of plants. The sources having high lignan phytochemicals content (in the sequence of maximum to minimum intensity) include flax, sunflower, sesame, as well as pumpkin seeds. Nevertheless, lignan amalgams are also present in several fruits, vegetables as well as beverages prepared from botanical sources, for instance, tea and wine. As there are several kinds of lignan compounds, collectively they are known as lignans.

In fact, sesame oil, which is a basic fat that is employed in cooking in Asian countries, encloses numerous lignans, most remarkably sesamin. Researches involving animal models have demonstrated that sesamin slows down the desaturation of delta 5 of n-6 fatty acids by means of obstructing the amalgamation of arachidonic acid, a pro-inflammatory agent singularly present in animal products. This action transforms into a noteworthy lessening in inflammation when sesamin as well as associated sesame lignans are incorporated into the diet.

Supplements containing lignan may be obtained in capsule as well as liquid form. If you are opting to consume flaxseed oil, always bear in mind that a number of the lignans may possibly go astray while processing. This is one reason why it is always advisable to select unprocessed as unfiltered flaxseed oil. Moreover, to enable the raw seeds to provide their health-enhancing advantages, they ought to be pulverized before being included in baked items or other foodstuff.

Health benefits of lignans

Several researches have demonstrated that women having elevated levels of lignans in their body, as calculated from samples of urine and/ or blood, also have a lower incidence of breast cancer.

A particular lignan amalgam known as secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG) is actually an antecedent to a range of phytoestrogens possessing antioxidant attributes. Numerous researches have demonstrated that using SDG supplements may possibly bring down the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as 'bad' cholesterol, as well as lower the blood pressure. This substance has also demonstrated enough potential in averting diabetes as well as atheriosclerosis.

In addition, there is clinical proof that hints at the fact that lignan compounds may well put off the development of specific types of cancers. For instance, findings of a number of studies have prompted scientists to assume that there exists a parallel relationship between intake of elevated dietary lignan and diminished chances of developing prostate and ovarian cancers. Studies comparable to these are investigating the impacts of lignan ingestion and breast cancer are, however, inconclusive thus far. Nevertheless, it is obvious that lignans contain high amounts of antioxidants.

A number of varieties of lignan amalgams or compounds are easily taken up or digested by the body, as, during the digestion process, they are broken down by the intestinal flora. This type of lignan compounds are called enterolignans and particularly comprise enterodiol and enterolactone. In effect, this type of lignans is also called mammalian lignans. For instance, matairesinol, which is extracted from dietary fiber, is one such lignan type that goes through this alteration. Conversely, to a certain extent, matairesinol is also assimilated by the body prior to its metabolism.

Another type of lignan is called pinoresinol, which has been examined for its latent aptitude to assist in averting the development of colon cancer. In effect, pinoresinol is the basic phenol present in extra virgin olive oil, which may possibly elucidate the reason why the Mediterranean diet has been related to lower incidences of developing colon cancer. The anti-cancer attribute of this amalgam has been examined in researches when it was introduced to cancer cells in vitro (in artificial environments, such as in a test tube). Apart from apoptosis (which denotes death of the cells) of cancerous tumours taking place, it was also detected that the most excellent results were obtained when very low intensity of pinoresinol, which may naturally be found in extra virgin olive oil, was used. This puts forward that the entire polyphenolic compound present in olive oil may possibly function mutually in synergy and additionally successfully compared to using elevated amounts of pinoresinol by itself.

It may be noted here that estrogens are actually hormones that put forth their results by means of attaching themselves to the estrogen receptors present in the cells. In fact, estrogen receptors can be found naturally in several tissues, barring those related to reproduction, counting the liver, bone, heart and even the brain. While the phytoestrogens (estrogens derived from plant sources) also have the ability to attach to the estrogen receptors within the cells, their estrogenic actions are actually much feeble in comparison to the endogenous estrogens, and they may possibly obstruct or even provoke the results of estrogens in a number of tissues.

Many researchers are engrossed in the tissue-selective actions of phytoestrogens since anti-estrogenic impacts in the reproductive tissues may possibly facilitate in diminishing the hazards of cancers related to hormone, such as prostate, ovarian, breast and uterine cancers, while estrogenic impacts in the bone may possibly help in sustaining the density of the bone. The enterolignans, enterolactone as well as enterodiol, are said to possess feeble estrogenic actions. Currently, the degree to which enterolignans make use of the feeble estrogenic and/ or anti-estrogenic results in humans is still not properly comprehended.

It is worth mentioning here that foods that are rich in dietary content and enclose plant lignan, such as legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts as well as seeds, have time and again been related to the diminishing of chances of developing heart ailments. Nevertheless, it is possible that several nourishments as well as phytochemicals present in these foods add to their cardio-protective results. In a forthcoming group study involving 1,889 Finnish men who were tracked for about 12 years on an average, it was found that the subjects who possessed the maximum serum enterolactone levels (which is basically a indicator of plant lignan ingestion) were considerably less probable to die owing to coronary heart diseases (CHD) or cardio-vascular diseases compared to those having the minimum levels of serum enterolactone.

The findings of a case-control trial undertaken by scientists in Scotland showed that the elevated enterolactone concentrations were related to a diminished hazard of prostate cancer. Researches have also demonstrated that lignans offer an additionally natural estrogen therapy for menopause as well as hot flashes compared to artificial hormone treatment and, hence, are possibly improved treatments for both cases.

Hulls of flaxseed also contain high levels of lignans as well as fiber. It may be noted that dietary fiber is excellent for digestion, rinsing the colon as well as absorbing the contaminations. In addition, it has been found that fiber helps to augment bowel movements.

There are several researches that hint that individuals having elevated amounts of lignans in their bodies have lessened the incidences of hair loss, while other studies have demonstrated that they promote regeneration of hair.

How to make sure you get enough lignans

To enable lignans to compete successfully with estrogen at the cells' estrogen receptor sites, it is necessary to have a great number of lignans within one's body. You may achieve this by continuously consuming a diet that encloses high amounts of lignan antecedents, such as flaxseed or any other food that is rich in lignan content like carrots, garlic, broccoli, and asparagus as well as dried out apricots and prunes. In addition, you may accomplish having a large number of lignans in your body by employing lignan flax oil. It may be noted that elevated lignan flax oil functions excellently when bonded with natural low fat cottage cheese.

Generally, lignans take about 24 hours to 48 hours to pass through the body and, hence, it is important that we exercise sufficient caution while consuming foods enclosing lignan precursors every day. When we supplement our diet with elevated lignan flax oil or any lignan capsule preparation, it ensures that you will be receiving a proven amount of this compound daily.

As lignans are formed owing to the action of bacteria present in the intestines on the lignan precursors present in specific fruits and vegetables, using probiotics supplementations is an excellent idea to sustain a large number of such beneficial bacteria in your intestinal tract. In fact, it is actually vital that you do so after using any antibiotic.

Dissimilar to the diet taken by our ancestors, in modern times, the Western diet does not incorporate too many foods that contain lignans. In addition to this, we are generally not as vigorous and energetic like our ancestors, and expectantly also consume less food. Therefore, the total amount of lignans that are available to our body from food sources is very little. Several researches on this topic recommend that such reduced intake of foods enclosing lignan precursors has actually left women devoid of the ability to naturally modulate estrogen.