Healthcare (Basel). , 2023, Jan 30;11(3):395. doi: 10.3390/healthcare11030395.

The Role of Flaxseed in Improving Human Health.

Nowak W Jeziorek M.


Flaxseed contains high amounts of biologically active components such as α-linolenic acid, lignans, and dietary fiber. Due to its numerous nutritional properties, flaxseed has been classified as a “superfood”, that is, a food of natural origin with various bioactive components and many health-promoting benefits. Flaxseed consumption can be an important factor in the prevention of diseases, particularly related to nutrition. The regular consumption of flaxseed may help to improve lipid profile and lower blood pressure, fasting glucose, and insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR). Moreover, flaxseed is characterized by anticancer and antioxidant properties and can significantly reduce the intensity of symptoms associated with menopause, constipation, and mental fatigue, improve skin condition, and accelerate wound healing. In addition to its bioactive compounds, flaxseed also contains antinutrients such as cyanogenic glycosides (CGs), cadmium, trypsin inhibitors, and phytic acid that can reduce the bioavailability of essential nutrients and/or limit its health-promoting effects. Three common forms of flaxseed available for human consumption include whole flaxseed, ground flaxseed, and flaxseed oil. The bioavailability of ALA and lignans is also dependent on the form of flaxseed consumed. To ensure high bioavailability of its bioactive components, flaxseed should be consumed in the ground form.

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