Flaxseed May Provide Antioxidant Health Benefits

April 30, 2010

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Mindy Weinstein
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Flaxseed May Provide Antioxidant Health Benefits

CHICAGO – A new review paper explores the role of flaxseed as an antioxidant that may protect against cancer and diabetes. The new research appears in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

“Flaxseed has been the focus of increased interest in the field of diet and disease research due to the potential health benefits associated with some of its biologically active components,” according to researchers from the School of Food Science and Technology at Jiangnan University in China who conducted the review. This article evaluated current research on flaxseed, its role as a functional food, and any potential benefits it may have against diabetes and certain cancers.

Flax is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid, and phytochemicals such as lignans. Lignans are found in many cereals and grains with the highest amounts occurring in flaxseed.
Researchers from Canada, England, and China* found the following:

- Flaxseed lignans might play a role in cancer prevention—specifically in breast, prostate, colon, and skin cancers;
- Soluble fiber and other components of flaxseed fractions could potentially affect insulin secretion and maintenance of steady blood sugar.

Lead author Alhassane Touré, PhD, states that flaxseed contains natural antioxidants with potential health benefits but more studies need to be conducted to assess any overdose effects.
For interviews on this review, the media can contact Dr. Touré Alhassane at talhassane@yahoo.fr.  This review was published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

To read this comprehensive review visit:  http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123397539/PDFSTART

*Affiliated universities include: University of Saskatchewan, University of Newcastle, University of Toronto, Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry, Guinea  and Jiangnan University.