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Flaxseed-composition and its health benefits



Flaxseed is cultivated in many parts of world for fiber, oil as well as for medicinal purposes and also as nutritional product. It is a native of Egypt but also cultivated in India, Holland, Russia and Britannia mainly for the purpose of its oil and fiber and is best adapted to fertile, fine textured, clay soils. Flax was valued in Ancient and Early Modern times as both a food and medicine. In this review, nutrients, anti-nutrients, functional properties and health benefits of bioactive molecules viz., essential fatty acids, lignans and dietary fiber of flaxseed are discussed. Flaxseed contains good amount of á-Linolenic Acid (ALA), omega-3 fatty acid, protein, dietary fiber, lignan specifically Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). ALA is beneficial for infant brain development, reducing blood lipids and cardiovascular diseases. Researchers reported that flaxseed incorporated food products can have good consumer acceptability along with its nutritional benefits.
March, 2016
Research in Environment and Life Sciences 310
2016 RELS ISSN: 0974-4908 Res. Environ. Life Sci. 9(3) 310-316 (2016)
Flaxseed – composition and its health benefits
Rajju Priya Soni*, Mittu Katoch, Ashish Kumar and Pramod Verma
CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalya, Palampur-176 061, India
(Received: July 23, 2015; Revised received: January 29, 2016; Accepted: January 31, 2016)
Abstract: Flaxseed is cultivated in many parts of world for fiber, oil as well as for medicinal purposes and also as nutritional product. It is a native of Egypt
but also cultivated in India, Holland, Russia and Britannia mainly for the purpose of its oil and fiber and is best adapted to fertile, fine textured, clay soils. Flax
was valued in Ancient and Early Modern times as both a food and medicine. In this review, nutrients, anti-nutrients, functional properties and health benefits
of bioactive molecules viz., essential fatty acids, lignans and dietary fiber of flaxseed are discussed. Flaxseed contains good amount of á-Linolenic Acid
(ALA), omega-3 fatty acid, protein, dietary fiber, lignan specifically Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). ALA is beneficial for infant brain development,
reducing blood lipids and cardiovascular diseases. Researchers reported that flaxseed incorporated food products can have good consumer acceptability
along with its nutritional benefits.
Keywords: Flaxseed, Alpha-linolenic acid, Dietary fiber, Lignans, Health benefits
Flaxseed, or Linseed (Linum Usitatissimmum), popularly
known as Alsi, Jawas, Aksebija in Indian languages, (Anonymous,
2000). Flax (Linum usitassimum) belonging to family Lineaceae, is
a blue flowering annual herb that produces small flat seeds varying
from golden yellow to reddish brown color. Flaxseed possesses
crispy texture and nutty taste (Morris 2007; Rubilar et al., 2010).
The whole flaxseed is flat and oval with pointed tips, varies in color
from dark to yellow, and measures approximately 2.5 × 5.0× 1.5
mm (Freeman, 1995). Flaxseed contains a seed coat or true hull
(also called testa), a thin endosperm, two embryos, and an embryo
axis. Embryos form 55% of the total weight of hand-dissected
flaxseed, the seed coat and the endosperm account for 36% of the
total weight, and the embryo axis is 4% (Bhatty, 1995). Flaxseed
continues to surge forward in its recognition as a functional food,
being rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid
and many phytochemicals. Flaxseed also provides dietary fiber
and protein (flax primer) an was singled out as one of six
neutraceuticals (Oomah 1995). Almost all parts of linseed plant are
utilized for various purposes. Seed contains oil which after refining
is used for edible purpose (Singh et al., 2011a, b). The stem yields
fiber of good quality possessing high strength and durability. Humans
have been consuming flaxseed since ancient times. It has been
cultivated for fiber as well as for medicinal purposes and as nutritional
product (Tolkachev and Zhuchenko, 2000).
Flaxseed, of Mesopotamic origin, has been cultivated since
5000 BC, being used until the 1990s principally for the fabrication of
cloths and papers. Today it is cultivated in over 2.6 million ha and
the important linseed growing countries are India, China, United
States, Ethiopia. Canada with 614,000 metric tonnes of flaxseed
produced in the year 2013-2014, is the world’s largest producer of
flax and accounts for nearly 80% of the global trade in flaxseed
(Oomah 2001; Bhatty, 1995). It is extensively cultivated throughout
India (Ganorkar and Jain, 2013; Bentley and Trimen, 1880) mainly
in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Rajasthan,
India and the United Provinces, also occasionally found in wild run
(Kapoor, 2005; Singh and Panda, 2005, Bentley and Trimen, 1880).
In India it is sown in the month of Sept-Oct and harvested in march-
April. The herb is dried and seeds are collected and used
(Anonymous, 1962). Flaxseed is unique among oilseeds because
of its exceptionally high content of á linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3)
and lignans. Flaxseed contains 35 to 45% oil, of which 45 to 52%
is ALA (Bhatty, 1995). Its ALA content is outstanding among
established oilseeds in North America. ALA is classified as an omega-
3 fatty acid, a group that also includes long-chain metabolites of
ALA. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic,
and anti-arrhythmic properties (Simopoulos, 1999).
The whole flaxseed is flat and oval with pointed tips and
contains a seed coat or true hull (also called testa), a thin endosperm,
two embryos and an embryo axis (Morris, 2007). Every part of the
linseed plant is utilized commercially, either directly or after
processing. The shell yields good quality fiber having high
mechanical properties and low density instead the seed provides
oil rich in omega-3, digestible proteins and lignans; it is also use to
manufacture paints, varnishes, linoleum, oilcloths, printing inks, soaps
and numerous other products. Flax seed sprouts are edible, with a
slightly spicy flavour. Whole flax seeds are chemically stable, but
ground flaxseed can go rancid at room temperature in as little as one
week, although there is contrary evidence. Refrigeration and storage
in sealed containers will keep ground flax from becoming rancid for a
longer period. Milled flax is remarkably stable to oxidation when
stored for nine months at room temperature if packed immediately
without exposure to air and light and for 20 months at ambient
temperatures under warehouse condition (Malcolmson et al., 2000).
Flaxseed has been the focus of growing interest for the
nutritionists and medical researchers due to its potential healthbenefits
associated with its biologically active components-ALA, lignan-
Secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG) and dietary fiber(Toure and
Xueming, 2010). Flaxseed is establishing importance in the world’s
food chain as a functional food. Functional food can be defined as
Research in Environment and Life Sciences 311 March, 2016
Table-1: Nutritional composition of flaxseed
Nutrients Amount per 100 g of edible flaxseed
Moisture (g) 6.5 6.5
Protein (N×6.25) (g) 20.3
Fat (g) 37.1
Minerals (g) 2.4
Crude fiber (g) 4.8
Total dietary fiber (g) 24.5
Carbohydrates (g) 28.9
Energy (kcal) 530.0
Potassium 750.0
Calcium (mg) 170.0
Phosphorous (mg) 370.0
Iron (mg) 2.7
Vitamin A (µg) 30.0
Vitamin E (mg) 0.6
Thiamine (B1) (mg) 0.23
Riboflavin (B2) (mg) 0.07
Niacin (mg) 1.0
Pyridoxine (mg) 0.61
Pantothenic acid 0.57
Biotin (µg) 0.6
Folic acid (µg) 112
*Morris 2007; Gopalan et al., 2004; Payne, 2000
the food or food ingredients that may provide physiological benefits
and helps in preventing and/or curing of diseases (Al-Okbi, 2005)
. Presently, flaxseed has new prospects as functional food because
of consumer’s growing interest for food with superb health benefits.
Owing to its excellent nutritional profile and potential health benefits,
it has become an attractive ingredient in the diets specially designed
for specific health benefits (Oomah, 2001). In spite of the multiple
clinical evidences of flaxseeds, people are still unaware about its
actual components, nutritional, therapeutic and other health benefits.
Flaxseed is rich in fat, protein and dietary fibre. The
composition of flaxseed can vary with genetics, growing environment
and method of seed processing (Daun et al., 2003) the composition
of flaxseed is provided in (Table-1). An analysis of brown Canadian
flaxseed averaged 41% fat, 20% protein, 28% total dietary fibre,
7.7% moisture and 3.4% ash (Anonymous, 2001). The protein
content of the seed decreases as the oil content increases (Daun et
al., 1994). It is well known that flax seeds are a source of high
content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (Pradhan et al., 2010).
Nutritional composition
Among the functional foods, flaxseed has emerged as a
potential functional food being good source of alpha-linolenic acid,
lignans, high quality protein, soluble fiber and phenolic compounds
(Oomah, 2001). The composition of flaxseed is presented in table-1
(Morris, 2007; Gopalan et al., 2004; Payne, 2000).
Flaxseed as functional food
Flaxseed is considered as functional food owing to the
presence of three main bioactive components-alpha-linolenic acid,
lignans and dietary fiber.
Alpha-linolenic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid is the main functional component of
flaxseed. It serves as an exclusive source of omega-3 fatty acid in
the vegetarian diets (Riediger et al., 2009). Fatty acids are termed
as essential because both they are required by the body but body
cannot synthesize them, therefore need to be supplied in the diet.
Human body lacks the enzymeswhich are required for the synthesis
of these essential fatty acids (de Lorgeril et al., 2001). There are
two groups of omega fats: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Linolenic
acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA)
are three types of omega-3 fatty acids and are nutritionally important.
All three fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of
cardiovascular disease (Hurteau, 2004). These two polyunsaturated
fatty acids are essential for humans – that is, the body needs them.
Supercritical CO2 extraction gave a higher average ALA content
(60.5%) compared to the soxhlet extraction method (56.7%) (Bozan
and Temelli, 2002). ALA from flaxseed exerts positive effect on
blood lipids. It was found to be as effective as oleic acid (18:2η-6)
and linoleic acid (18:2η-6) in the reduction of plasma total cholesterol,
low density lipoprotein cholesterol and very low density lipoprotein
cholesterol in 20-34 years old healthy men (Chan et al., 1993).
Ranhotra et al. (1992) noted that flaxseed oil or blends of
flaxseed oil and sunflower oil promoted cholesterol reduction in
hypercholesterolemic rats compared to diets formulated with hard
fats. These authors suggested that a diet with the appropriate balance
of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids was preferred over diets high in n-6 fatty
acids. Ground flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids which have
been shown to reduce hypertension, cholesterol and triglyceride
level (Oomah and Maza, 1998). Oikarinen et al. (2005) reported
that flaxseed oil may be responsible for preventing colon
carcinogenesis in multiple intestinal neoplasia (Min) mice. Dwivedi
et al. (2005) also supported this finding that flaxseed oil prevented
colon tumor development in rats. Presence of ALA in breast adipose
tissue was inversely related to breast cancer risk (Maillard et al.,
2002). ALA, being the essential fatty acid, requirement can be fulfilled
by intake of flaxseed products (Morris, 2004).
Flaxseed is the richest source of plant lignans (Thompson et
al., 1991). Lignans are phytoestrogens, which are abundantly
available in fiber rich plants, cereals (wheat, barley, and oats), legumes
(bean, lentil, soybean), vegetables (broccoli, garlic, asparagus,
carrots) fruits, berries, tea and alcoholic beverages. Flaxseed contains
about 75- 800 times more lignans than cereal grains, legumes, fruits
and vegetables (Mazur et al. 2000; Meagher and Beecher 2000;
Murphy and Hendrich 2002; Hosseinian and Beta 2009). Dietary
sources of lignans include seeds, legumes, cereals, vegetables, berries,
seaweed, tea and alcoholic beverages (Mazur et al., 1996, Thompson
et al., 1991, Namiki, 1995, Mazur, 1998, Mazur and Adlecreutz, 1998,
Mazur et al., 1998a, Mazur et al., 1998b, Nurmi T et al., 2003)
Secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol were the first plant lignans identified
in foods. Pinoresinol and lariciresinol are more recently identified plant
lignans that contribute substantially to the total dietary lignin intakes.
Lignans are the diphenolic compounds synthesised by the
coupling of two coniferyl alcohol residues existing in cell wall of higher
plants (Toure and Xueming, 2010; Westcott and Muir 2003).
Secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG) is themajor lignan of flaxseed,
alongwith minor contents of matairesinol, pinoresinol, lariciresinol and
isolariciresinol (Meagher et al., 1999; Sicilia et al., 2003; Krajcova et
al., 2009). SDG ranges from 11.7 to 24.1 mg/g in defatted flour and
6.1 to 13.3 mg/g in whole flaxseed flour (Johnsson et al., 2000).
Health Benefits of flaxseedSoni et al.
March, 2016
Research in Environment and Life Sciences 312
Lignans have antioxidant activity and thus may contribute to the
anticancer activity of flaxseed (Yuan et al., 1999; Kangas et al.,
2002; Prassad 1997). However, number of factors may contribute to
the various anticancer activity of flaxseed (Thompson et al., 2005).
The behavior of the lignans depends upon the biological level of
estradiol. At normal estradiol levels, the lignans act as estrogen
antagonists but in post menopausal women (i.e. low estradiol levels)
can act as weak estrogen (Hutchins and Slavin, 2003; Rickard and
Thompson, 1997). Although lignans have been shown to be
protective against breast cancer, minor structural alterations may
influence overall activity (Sarrinen et al., 2005). The mammalian
lignans stimulate the synthesis of sex hormone binding globulin, which
binds sex hormones and reduce their circulation in blood stream, and
decrease their biological activity and thus reducing the risk of
developing cancer (Thompson et al., 1996).
Dietary Fiber (Mucilage or Gum)
Dietary fiber is a communal word used to describe a variety
of plant substances that are not easily digested by the enzymes
responsible for digestion in humans (Eastwood and Passmore, 1983).
Flaxseed meal is reach in crude, acid detergent, neutral detergent
and total fibers (cellulose, lignine and hemicellulose). Fibers content
varies between 22% to 26%, twice the percentage of high fiber
beans. A half ounce of dry whole flax seed provides between 20%
and 25% of your daily fiber needs. Flaxseed contains soluble and
insoluble dietary fibers in a proportion that varies between 20:80 and
40:60. The major insoluble fiber fraction consists of cellulose and
lignin and the soluble fiber fractions are the mucilage gums (Qian,
2012, Cui et al., 1996). Total fibre is the sum of dietary fibre and
functional fibre. Functional fibre consists of non digestible carbohydrates
that have been extracted from plants, purified and added to foods and
other products. Dietary fibre and functional fibre are not digested and
absorbed by the human small intestine and, therefore, pass relatively
intact into the large intestine (Institute of Medicine, 2002).Dietary fibers
from flaxseed were found to have a direct relation to health in particular
in body weight regulation through both hunger suppression and
diminished nutrient absorption (Kristensen et al., 2012) generally,
soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with water. This gel slows down
the emptying of the stomach, potentially lowering blood glucose levels.
Cholesterol is also lowered as it is surrounded by the gel, which
inhibits its absorption and leads to more cholesterol being excreted.
Ibbrugger et al., 2012, conducted a crossover acute study about the
influence of flax drink and flax tablet on hunger suppression. Sensation
of satiety and fullness were similar for Flax tablets and Flax drink as
they did not differ by more than 1-4% (Ibrugger et al., 2012).
Flaxseed mucilage associated with hull of flaxseed is a gum
like material composed of acidic and neutral polysaccharides. The
neutral fraction of flaxseed contains xylose (62.8%) whereas the
acidic fraction of flaxseed is comprised mainly of rhamnose (54.5%)
followed by galactose (Cui W et al., 1994, 1891-1895).
Flaxseed was shown to reduce the post prandial blood
glucose response in humans. Healthy female volunteers consumed
50 g grounds, raw flaxseed/day for 4 weeks which provided 12-
13% of energy intake (24-25 g/100 g total fat). Similar findings were
observed in post menopausal women fed 40 g/day flaxseed fortification
diet (Lemay et al., 2002). Bread containing 25% flaxseed gave a
glycemic response that was 28% lower than the control (no flaxseed)
bread 80(Jenkins et al., 1999).Flaxseed fiber plays an important role
in lowering the blood glucose levels. Studies demonstrated that insoluble
fiber slows down the release of sugar in the blood and thus help in
reducing blood glucose levels to great extent (Thakur et al., 2009).
Studies have shown that the high intake of dietary fibers is beneficial for
the prevention of obesity in both men and women (Du, 2010).
The protein content in flaxseed has been reported to between
10.5% and 31% (Oomah and Mazza, 1993). Khategaon cultivars
grown in India had a protein content of 21.9% (Madhusudhan and
Singh, 1983). Like all vegetables, flaxseed proteins have techno-
functional properties that affect their behaviour in a food system through
interaction with other ingredients. These properties are mainly
dependent on their hydration mechanisms for solubility and waterD
oil retention capacity. The amino acid pattern of flax protein is similar to
that of soybean protein, which is viewed as one of the most nutritious
of the plant proteins (Rabetafika et al., 2011). Differences in protein
can be attributed to both genetics and environment. The proximate
protein content of dehulled and defatted flaxseed varied considerably
depending upon cultivar growth location and seed processing. Hull
fraction contains lower protein levels and that dehulling increases
protein level of flaxseed protein level from 19.2% to 21.8%.(Oomah
and Mazza , 1997) Flaxseed proteins have similar nitrogen
extractability at varying pH and ionic strength with other oilseed sources
of proteins(Oomah and Mazza 1993). Flaxseed proteins were
reported to be 20% albumins of low molecular weight proteins (1.6S
and 2S) and 80% globulins as high molecular weight proteins (11S
and 12S) and were found to be structurally more lipophilic than
soybean proteins due to the influence of their polysaccharide
composition. Albumin and globulin type proteins are the major proteins
in flaxseed (Oomah and Mazza, 1993). Nutritional value and amino
acid profile of flaxseeds are comparable to that of soya proteins
(Oomah and Mazza, 1993, Madhusudan, 1985). Albumin and globulin
type proteins are the major proteins in flaxseed. Flaxseed albumin
comprised 20% of meal protein (Madhusudhan and Singh, 1983).
Globulin fraction makes up to 73.4% and the albumin constitutes
about 26.6% of total protein (Marcone et al., 1998). Flaxseed proteins
are relatively high in arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid whereas
lysine, methionine and cystine are limiting amino acid. Total amino acid
content of the flaxseed after 8 days germination increased by 15 times
with greatest increase (i.e. 200 times) being observed in glutamine and
leucine compared to the original seed (Wanasundara et al., 1999).
Flaxseed protein was effective in lowering plasma
cholesterol and triglycerides (TAG) compared to soy protein and
casein protein (Bhathena et al., 2002). Protein content of biscuits
made from composite flour containing 15% ground flaxseed increased
from 6.5% to 8.52%. The supplementation of flaxseed flour upto
15% showed no deleterious effect on the sensory attributes of biscuits
(Zaib-un-Nisa, 2000). As flax is gluten-free, people who are sensitive
to gluten can enjoy flax in their diets (Morris, 2003). Varying the
source of dietary protein intake authors concluded that flaxseed meal
was more effective than soy protein in reducing proteinuria and renal
histologic abnormalities in this model [Velasquez et al, 2003]. Bioactive
peptides, present in flaxseed, such as cyclolinopeptide A, have strong
Health Benefits of flaxseedSoni et al.
Research in Environment and Life Sciences 313 March, 2016
immunosuppressive and antimalarial activities, inhibiting the human
malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in culture (Tolkachev and
Zhuchenko, 2004). According to Oomah (2001) flaxseed contained
a peptide mixture with high levels of branched-chain amino acids
(BCAAs) and low levels of Aromatic Amino Acids (AAAs). This mixture
has shown antioxidant properties by scavenging 2, 2-diphenyl-1-
picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) and antihypertensive properties by
inhibiting the angiotensin I–converting enzyme (Picur et al., 2006).
Health Benefits of Flaxseed
Anti-oxidant functions: The antioxidant activity of the flaxseed
has been shown to reduce total cholesterol (Bierenbaum et. al.,
1993) as well as platelet aggregation (Allman et al.,1995). The flaxseed
lignin Secoisolariciresinol Diglucoside (SDG) and mammalian lignans
enterodiol (ED) and enterolactone (EL) were previously shown to
be effective antioxidants against DNA damage and lipid peroxidation.
Inhibition of activated cell chemiluminescence by supraphysiological
concentrations of secoisolariciresinol (SECO), ED and EL were also
evaluated. The lignan antioxidant activity was attributed to the 3-methoxy-
4-hydroxyl substituents of SDG and SECO. Secoisolariciresinol
diglucoside from flaxseed has been shown to be effective in
preventing/delaying the development of type-1 and type-2 diabetes.
The hypoglycemic effect of SDG in type-2 diabetes has been suggested
to be due to its antioxidant activity. It may be possible that the hypoglycemic
effect of SDG in type-2 diabetes is due to suppression of expression of
Phospho enol pyruvate carboxy kinase enzyme, a rate limiting enzyme
in glyconeogenetic pathway [Hu et al., 2007].
Infant allergies and respiratory diseases: In a paper “Role of
dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in infant allergies and
respiratory diseases” Lynette P. Shek et al. (2012) during had
examine the role PUFAs consumption during pregnancy and early
childhood and its influence on allergy and respiratory diseases as
the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids have been reported to
have immune modulatoray effects. Decreased consumption of omega-
6-PUFAs, in favor of more anti-inflammatory omega-3-PUFAs (flax is
rich in ALA which is a biological precursor to omega-3-fatty acid) in
modern diets, has demonstrated the potential protective role of allergic
and respiratory diseases. PUFAs act via several mechanisms to
modulate immune function. Omega-3-PUFAs may alter the T helper
cell balance by inhibiting cytokine production which in turn inhibits
immunoglobulin E synthesis and T helper 2 cell differentiations. PUFAs
may further modify cellular membrane, induce eicosanoids metabolism,
and alter gene expression.
Anti-diabetic functions: A study conducted by 49Mitra A,
Bhattacharya in 2009 in order to find out whether flaxseed gum, like
guargum, is effective in reducing the blood glucose level in non
insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). In this study 20 NIDDM
patients were fed, for 3 months, 5 chapattis each containing 5 g
flaxseed gum and 25 g wheat flour. Blood biochemistry of these
patients when on normal monitored diet for the preceding 3 months,
before initiation of therapy with flax gum, was measured monthly
using standard procedures and monthly therefore, after the initiation
of therapy. 20 other (non-diabetic) patients subjected to identical
conditions acted as controls. It was observed that flax gum-containing
therapeutic diet reduced TLC, LDLC, and FBS significantly. In fact
the statistical analysis of the data confirmed that flax gum caused
significant reduction of TLC (p = 0.025), LDLC (p = 0.030) and FBS
(p = 0.045). The changes in other parameters were not statistically
significant. The conclusion from this study is that flaxseed gum is an
inexpensive, abundant, natural material with no side effects. It is
helped in curing various diseases by lowering the recognized risk
factors like TLC, LDLC, and FBS. In diabetes, this is a useful
nutraceutical for its effects in controlling blood sugar and Dyslipidaemia.
Daily lignan supplementation resulted in modest, yet
statistically significant improvements in glycemic control in type 2
diabetic patients without apparently affecting fasting glucose, lipid
profiles and insulin sensitivity (Pan et al., 2007). Peak blood glucose
values were improved by ingestion of flaxseed fibre in healthy
subjects (Dahl et al., 2005). Administration of lignan capsules (360mg/
d) for 12 weeks to diabetic subjects with mild hypercholesterolemia
resulted in significant reduction in C-reactive protein levels (Pan et
al., 2009). Flaxseed lignans are converted by intestinal bacteria
into the so called enterolignans, enterodiol and enterolactove.
Information on bioavailabity of enterolignans is scanty and the mean
relative bioavailability of enterolignans from whole compared with
ground flaxseed was 28% (p<or =0.01), where as that of crushed
compared with ground flaxseed was 43% (p<or =0.01). Crushing
and milling of flaxseed substantially improve the bioavailabity of the
enterolignans (Kuijsten et al., 2005). There was a significant increase
in serum alpha linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and
docosapentaenoic acid and serum enterolactove concentration was
doubled during flaxseed supplementation (Tarpila et al., 2002).
Lignans have been shown to have positive effects in lowering
relative risk factors for heart disease.
Cancer: A review by Azhar Jabeen et al., 2014 revealed that a
pilot study was done at dietary fat restriction and flaxseed
supplementation in 25 prostate cancer patients. The patients were
asked to take 30 g/day of ground flaxseed and to have a low fat diet
of 20 % of total kilocalories or less. The studylasted an average of
34 days and there was a significant decrease in total testosterone
(422 ± 122 ng/dL to 360 ± 128 ng/dL), total cholesterol (201 ± 39
mg/dL to 174 ± 42 mg/dL) and free androgen index (36.3 % ±
18.9 % to 29.3 % ± 16.8 %) (p< 0.05), a decrease in the mean
proliferation rate (7.4 ± 7.8 historic controls vs. 5.0 ± 4.9 for treated
patients, p = 0.05), the distribution of the apoptotic indexes differed
significantly (p = 0.01) and the proliferation rat and apoptosis were
significantly associated with the number of days on the diet (p =
0.049 and p = 0.017) . Flaxseed has been shown to reduce the
early risk markers for and incidence of mammary and colonic
carcinogenesis in animal models (Serraino and Thompson, 1992,
Jenab and Thompson, 1996, Serraino and Thompson, 1991,
Thompson et al., 1996). Epidemiologic studies have also shown
that the prevalence of breast cancer is lower in countries where the
diet is vegetarian (Block et al.,1992, Parkin et al., 1992) and that
lignin concentrations were found significantly lower in omnivores
and in women with breast cancer (Adlercreutz et al.,1982, Adlercreutz
et al.,1993). Thus, it is becoming increasingly obvious that lignans
possess many beneficial properties. Both phytoestrogen and dietary
fibre have been shown to have cancer protective effects. Flaxseeds
significantly increased urinary excretion of lignans without changing
the serum hormone concentration of premenopausal women
Health Benefits of flaxseedSoni et al.
March, 2016
Research in Environment and Life Sciences 314
suggesting that the chemoprotective effects reported for flaxseed may
have resulted from mechanism other than a hormonal effect (Frische
et al., 2003).The systematic review by Flower et al., 2013 considered
lignans and other flaxseed compounds (ALA and fiber content) to check
the efficacy in improving menopausal symptoms in women living with
breast cancer and for potential impact on risk of breast cancer incidence
or recurrence. Making a comparison among all studies examined,
authors concluded that flax may be associated with decreased risk of
breast cancer. Furthermore, flax demonstrated anti-proliferative effects
in breast tissue of women at risk of breast cancer. Mortality risk may also
be reduced among those living with breast cancer.
Flaxseed in bone health: Alpha linolenic acid, the omega-3 fat
found in flaxseed promotes bone health by helping to prevent
excessive bone turnover-when consumption of foods rich in these
omega-3 fat results in a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in
the diet (Griel et al., 2007). When the women who had been having
14 hot flashes per week for at least a month and weren’t taking
estrogen to relieve their menopausal symptoms were fed 2
tablespoons of crushed flaxseed twice daily for six weeks, the women
halved their number of daily hot flashes while taking flaxseed. In
addition, the intensity of the women’s hot flashes dropped by 57%.
Side effects included abdominal bloating (14 women) and mild
diarrhea (8 women) (Pruthi et al., 2007).
Anti-nutrients in flaxseed: Flaxseeds contain anti-nutrients that
may have adverse influence on the health and well-being of human
population. Keeping an eye on safety of flaxseed, two compounds,
cyanogenic glycosides and linatine an antipyridoxine factor are
questioned frequently. Release of hydrogen cyanide from flaxseed
would be minimal and below toxic lethal dose. At the recommend
daily intake of about 1–2 table spoons, approximately 5–10 mg of
hydrogen cyanide is released from flaxseed, which is well below
the estimated acute toxic dose for an adult of 50–60 mg inorganic
cyanide and below the 30–100 mg/ day humans can detoxify
(Roseling, 1994). Generally roasting is carried out to eliminate
cyanogenic glycosides. Wanasundara et al. (1993) studied on
removal of cyanogenic glycosides of flaxseed meal by a two phase
solvent extraction system consisting of hexanes and an alkanol
(Methanol, ethanol or isopropanol) phase with or without added
water and/or ammonia. Of the 4.42 mg/g linustatin and 1.90 mg/g
neolinustatin originally present in the meals, over 90% of each
cyanogenic glycoside was removed under optimum conditions using
methanolic solutions. Although linatine is a problem in chicks, flaxseed
has not been associated with a vitamin B6 deficiency in human. In
fact, no affect on serum pyridoxine levels in subjects consuming 45
g/ day of flaxseed over 5 weeks was observed (Dieken, 1992).
In addition to this, trypsin inhibitor and phytic acid are other
antinutrients contained in flaxseed. But compared to soyabean and
canola seeds, activity of them are low (Hall et al., 2006). Bhatty
(1993) reported laboratory-prepared flaxseed meals containing
42–51 units of TIA (Trypsin inhibitor activity), which was slightly
higher than 10–30 units observed by Madhusudhan and Singh
(1983) and commercially obtained flaxseed meal (14–37 units).
The contents of phytic acid were significantly different among
cultivars. AC Linora has a lowest phytic acid content of 2280 mg/
100 g and low ALA yellow-seeded cultivar Linola 947 has the
highest content (3250 mg/100 g seed) among the eight cultivars
reported (Oomah et al., 1997). Ganorkar and Jain (2013) have
also reviewed that flaxseed antinutrients have lesser impact on
human health as compared to that of soyabean and canola. Trypsin
inhibitors are also reported in flaxseed, though activity is insignificant
as compared to soybean and canola seeds (Schilcher et al., 1986.)
Functional foods and nutraceuticals may provide a means to
reduce the increasing burden on the health care system by a
continuous preventive mechanism. Plant foods as medicines are
assuming greater importance in the primary health care of individuals
and communities in many developed as well as developing countries.
A large number of phytochemicals and bioactives are present in
foods of plant origin. Studies during the last three decades uncovered
nutritional benefits of flaxseed related to its unique composition.
Processing innovations in more-recent years have enhanced
flaxseeds use as an ingredient, making it available in many forms with
specific nutritional benefits for todays health conscious consumers.
Flaxseed derived lignans have been part of both diet and herbal
medicines for centuries. The present review shows that, the
nutraceutical value and different health benefits of flaxseed with
reference to evidence based literatures. Flaxseed is one of the
emerging foods which have the potential of curing these disorders.
Flaxseed is emerging as one of the nutritive and functional ingredient
in food products Various clinical trials revealed that the flaxseed
constituents provide disease preventive and therapeutic benefits.
Flaxseed is used as a herbal medicine which has high amount of
lignans, phytoestrogen, soluble fiber and alpha-linolenic acid. Many
studies have shown that these composites have hypolipidemic and
antioxidant properties. It is a considerable potential source of high
quality protein, soluble fiber, and phenolic compounds. Studies proved
that flaxseed has tremendous potential in disease prevention
particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), osteoporosis, rheumatoid
arthritis, cancer (breast and colon, cancer), and also affects immunity
favorably. However, many people are still unaware of the potential
health benefits of flaxseed and food applications. ALA (omega-3 fatty
acid), dietary fiber and Lignan (specifically SDG) content attracts food
technologists to explore its abilities at fullest extent in commercial food
processing sector. Flaxseed is emerging as one of the nutritive and
functional ingredient in food products. For this reason, further detailed
clinical research appears worthwhile to explore the full therapeutic
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... In addition to accounting for flax meal's laxative action, soluble fiber is known to have significant cholesterol-reduction properties, decreasing a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Insoluble dietary fiber lowers insulin resistance, aids in constipation treatment, and promotes overall bowel health (Soni et al., 2016). ...
... Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Linolenic acid, and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) are three nutritionally essential omega-3 fatty acids. All three fatty acids have been demonstrated to lower the risk of heart disease (Balic et al., 2020, Soni et al., 2016). Although relatively little ALA converts to the long -chain polyunsaturated omega-3 found in marine oils, it does have certain benefits on its own. ...
... Although relatively little ALA converts to the long -chain polyunsaturated omega-3 found in marine oils, it does have certain benefits on its own. The advantages of ALA can be evident at intakes as little as 1g/day, with 2g/day suggested for cardio protection (Soni et al., 2016). ...
Full-text available
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and flaxseed (Linum usitassimum L.) are grains and seeds popularly known for their nutritional values. This review aimed to discuss the nutritional profile of these grains and seeds, their bioactive compounds and how those compounds help to prevent chronic diseases. These crops were selected for this study as they are all free of gluten; they are a rich source of protein, and they all have a low glycemic index (GI) i.e. they do not spike the blood sugar level, which makes them a good choice for people with diabetes and celiac disease. During the study, it was found that some or all of the bioactive compounds like phenolic acids, flavonoids, saponins, phytosterols, tocopherol, tannins, betalains, stillbenoids, polycosanols, alpha-linoleic acid, and lignans have anti- cancerous, anti- diabetic, anti-hypertensive and cardiovascular effects on the body. Quinoa posses’ bioactive compounds like quercetin, kaempferol, Betacyanins, betalains and tocopherol, that have biological functions such as anti-hypertensive, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-cancerous, anti-diabetic, anti-allergic, anti-thrombosis, and anti-atherosclerosis effects on the body. Sorghum contains trans-resveratrol, caffeic acid, gallic acid, campesterol, stigmasterol and gallotannins, which helps prevent lung, breast and prostate cancer, prevents type-2- diabetes, and has neuroprotective effect. Flaxseed bioactives like Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), lignans and cyanogenic glycosides have Immunomodulatory, anti-fibrosis, anti-mutagenic and anti-obesity effects. Since the world is moving towards a healthy lifestyle, grains and seeds are a good source of nutritious foods.
... Interestingly, using classical biochemical analysis, it was shown that flax seeds contain the dimer of coniferyl alcohol-secoisolariciresinol in a large amount [33], which belongs to the class of lignans, precursors of phytoestrogens that cause the medicinal properties of flax seeds [18,21]. It can be assumed that the coniferol identified in our experiment also was partially obtained after the destruction of lignans during samples preparation. ...
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Flax is one of the oldest oil crops, but only since the end of the twentieth century nutritional use of its whole seeds and flour has been resumed. This crop has been evaluated for its oil fatty acid composition, content of sterols and tocopherols, carbohydrate composition of mucilage, but a comprehensive study has never been carried out, so the aim of the work was to identify differences in the metabolomic profiles of flax lines contrasting in color and size of seeds. The biochemical composition of seeds from 16 lines of the sixth generation of inbreeding was tested using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. In total, more than 90 compounds related to sugars (78% of the identified substances), free fatty acids (13%), polyatomic alcohols (5%), heterocyclic compounds, free amino acids, phytosterols and organic acids (no more than 2.5% in total) were identified. Statistical analyses revealed six main factors. The first is a factor of sugar content; the second one affects most of organic acids, as well as some free fatty acids, not related to reserve ones, the third factor is related to compounds that play a certain role in the formation of “storage” substances and resistance to stress, the fourth factor is influencing free polar amino acids, some organic and free fatty acids, the fifth one is a factor of phenolic compounds, the sixth factor combined substances not included in the first five groups. Factor analysis made it possible to differentiate all 16 lines, 10 of which occupied a separate position by one or two factors. Interestingly, the first two factors with the highest loads (20 and 15% of the total variability, respectively) showed a separate position of the gc-432 line, which differed from the others, not only by chemical composition, but also by the phenotype of the seeds, while gc-159 differed from the rest ones by the complex of organic acids and other substances taking about 1% of the extracted substances of the seed. Thus, the analysis of metabolomic profiles is promising for a comprehensive assessment of the VIR flax genetic collection, which has wide biochemical diversity.
... From these results we notice that macromolecules belonging to primary metabolism are majoritarian and quantitatively are valuable for potential industrialization. These results are in good agreement with the bibliography which shows that flax seed contains 41% of lipids, 20 to 25% of dietary fibers and 20 to 25% of proteins [33,51]. Lipids representing 41% incited us to use it as source of anticorrosive agent. ...
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This study targets Moroccan flax seeds oil valorization in corrosion inhibition. This oil is very rich in fat (41%) where unsaturated fatty acids represent the majority (87%). Physico-chemical analysis shows that flax seeds oil having a density of 0.931, a refractive index of 1.476, an acid index of 0.85 mg KOH/g oil, a saponification index of 192.11 mg KOH/g oil, a peroxide index of 1.03 meq O2/kg oil and an iodine index of 176.78 g/100 g oil. In this research, the effect of flax seeds oil on mild steel corrosion inhibition in 1 M HCl was analyzed using weight loss and impedance spectroscopy (EIS). From the results generated, optimum value (E%) of flax seeds oil was recorded as 94% and 92% at a concentration of 1 g/L by weight loss and EIS methods, respectively. Studies of impedance spectroscopy show that the inhibition mechanism is by the transfer of charges. The results also showed that the inhibitor flax seeds oil acts on the surface of the metal (mild steel) essentially by adsorption, leading to the formation of a protective film limiting the corrosion of mild steel. © 2020, Russian Association of Corrosion Engineers. All rights reserved.
This study evaluated effects of dietary supplementation of White Mustard (Sinapis alba) and Flax Seed (Linum usitatissimum) oils on Growth Performance Parameters, Immunology Parameters, disease resistance, Hematological Parameters, Digestive Enzyme Activities, and Antioxidant Enzyme Activities in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) juveniles. For this purpose, 735 rainbow trout with an initial body weight of 25.77±0.13g divided into seven main groups with triplicates per group and 35 fish per tank. Fish were fed daily ad libitum with diets containing White Mustard and Flax Seed at 0.5, 1and 1, 5 for 63 days. The results showed that growth performance (FW, WG, SGR) in all groups were increased significantly (P<0.05). There were no significant difference (P > 0.05) about feed conversion ratio (FCR) in treatment groups that fed diets containing various levels of seeds oils. NBT and PK activity were lower than control at the end of the experiment (P <0, 05), LYS and MPO values were higher in all experimental groups than the control group (P <0, 05) at the end of the experiment (P <0, 05). Cytokine gene expressions in Kidney and intestine were elevated in all experimental groups compared to that of control (P < 0.05), except IL-B, IL-8, IL-10, INOS expression in the spleen at 63rd day sampling time. Other sampling times, the immune-related genes were also elevated in all experimental groups compared to that of the control group. According to the results, when the erythrocyte, hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, main corpuscular hemoglobin, main corpuscular hemoglobin concentration were investigated, there was no significant difference between the control group and the experimental groups (p> 0.05). Pepsin and trypsin decreased in all experimental groups, whereas amylase activity not affected. While lipase increased in all experimental groups, but all these changes were not significant. In terms of antioxidant enzyme activities, significant improvement in liver SOD, CAT and, GST activities in all treatment groups (P< 0.05). In addition, a significant declined in liver LPO level in all treated groups and in all sampling times compared to the control (P> 0.05). At the end of this experiment, the results of the challenge test against Yersinia ruckeri showed that administration of seeds oils supplemented diets significantly increased trout resistance (P < 0.05); the highest survival rate, was observed in the AKH 1% group. While no significant difference (P > 0.05) against Aeromonas all oils groups. As a result, in terms of growth parameters, immunology parameters, disease resistance against Y. rukari, and antioxidant enzymes, these oils generally have an advantage, while the positive effects of the fish on their digestive enzymes and hematological parameters are often lacking.
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Flaxseed has become the primary objective of research related to nutrition and diseases, due to its bioactive potential. With an increase in awareness regarding the significance of healthy food products in consumers for their well-being has augmented the demand for the development of functional and nutraceutical foods. It is considered that flaxseed is the prime functional food product as reported by various studies. It contains α-linolenic acid, phytoestrogen, protein, fiber, and micronutrients in significant amounts. Its increasing importance is linked to its capability to lower the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), anti-inflammatory, anticancer, laxative effects, and osteoporosis. Flaxseed oil has been utilized as a functional food ingredient in the development of several food products including juices, dairy, cereal, and meat products. The current review covers the various aspects related to the chemical composition of flaxseed, oil extraction techniques, functional properties, and potential health benefits concerning various case studies.
Highlights Gastric enzyme pepsin has an inhibitory effect on growth of spores as observed in acidic condition One very important observation is that simulated intestinal pH as well as simulated acidic pH with or without enzymes does not support the growth of spores (Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969) as well as culture (Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969 may be indicative of growth media requirement for the incubation and growth of the spores and culture. The real time bio-relevant media digestion study shows that presence of antibiotic (Azithromycin) does not support the growth of probiotic spores(Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969)and probiotic cultures Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969) without the presence of growth media components. In case of fermented flaxseed powder in the presence of citric acid even acidic condition with enzyme pepsin supports the growth of probiotic spores.(Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969). In case of real time bio-relevant media simulation, fermented product shows the supportive nature for the growth of probiotics.(Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969) as well as antibiotic (Azithromycin) effect has found to be diminished as the scanty growth of the species is being observed. Fermented flaxseed powder could be effective post biotic supplement which could be explored further in post biotic supplement development. It has been observed in present study that factors like gastrointestinal pH, transit time, gastrointestinal fluid composition and presence of prebiotics, fermentation etc play very important role in proliferation and gastrointestinal colonization of orally supplied probiotics as part of the treatment strategy The research findings justify the importance of synbiotic and postbiotic supplements as the part of treatment and prescription strategies in gut flora microbial dysbiosis caused by antibiotics rather than probiotic supplements alone. Or probiotics should be prescribed after completion of antibiotic therapy with proper instruction to consume probiotics with prebiotic dietary ingredients. Dysbiosis is defined as disorganization of microflora homeostasis, leading to changes in metabolic activities and local distribution with major impacts on functional composition. Presently, gut microbiota modifications, with the objective to treat microbial dysbiosis, is well known treatment option preferred for conditions involving gut flora disturbances. It has been found that the most common approach to treat gut flora disturbance is to prescribe probiotic supplements. The objective of the present research was to develop simple methodology in order to determine the prebiotic potential of flaxseed powder using a novel in-vitro bio-relevant media and a time simulation proliferation approach for the marketed probiotic Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969, (“Sporlac Sachets, Sanzyme Biologics Private Limited”). In addition to the desired result, the current study also yielded pertinent information on fermented flaxseed powder and helpful data regarding prescription guidelines for commercially available probiotic supplements. It has been observed that various factors like gastrointestinal pH, transit time, gastrointestinal fluid composition, presence of prebiotics, and fermentation play an important role in the proliferation and gastrointestinal colonization of orally ingested probiotics. The research findings justify the importance of synbiotic and postbiotics supplement approaches as the part of treatment and prescription requirements in gut flora microbial dysbiosis rather than probiotic supplements alone. Alternatively, patients could be guided for the concept that the consumption of prebiotic-containing foods have potential to enhance the ability of probiotics to restore the gut flora following a course of antibiotic therapy.
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As objects of research, we used the products of processing of oil flax seeds of the varieties August, Isilkulsky, Legur, Sokol and LM-98, grown on the experimental field of the State Agrarian University of the Northern Trans-Urals, Tyumen (2020). Flaxseed cake is obtained by "cold" pressing of oil by pressing, extruded flaxseed cake by passing the previously obtained cake through the extruder. The amino acid composition was determined by capillary electrophoresis on an automatic amino acid analyzer of the KAREL brand. 14 amino acids have been identified, of which 8 are irreplaceable. The total amount of essential amino acids is higher in the Sokol and August varieties (linseed cake – 18.19 and 10.48%, extruded linseed cake – 9.92 and 7.29%, respectively). Of the essential amino acids found in flaxseed cake, the highest content differs: lysine (from 2.86 to 1.08%), phenylalanine (from 3.82 to 1.22%), leucine and isoleucine (3.88–1.49%) , valine (4.00–1.13%), threonine (2.30–1.52%) and, accordingly, in extruded flaxseed cake: lysine (from 1.60 to 0.72 %), phenylalanine (from 1.98 up to 1.06 %), leucine and isoleucine (1.96–1.08%), valine (1.93–0.912%), threonine (1.77–0.81%). The results obtained allow us to recommend extruded flaxseed cake for expanding the range of bakery and flour confectionery products.
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The present study aimed to analyze the effect of the addition of whole and milled flaxseed on the quality characteristics of yogurt. In the first stage of the research, the optimal dose of flaxseed was determined. In the second stage of the research, it was assessed whether the selected qualities of yogurt were affected by the form of flaxseed (whole or milled) and the time of addition (before or after fermentation). The yogurts obtained were stored at 5 °C for 21 days, and the changes in active acidity, apparent viscosity, syneresis, and the number of yogurt bacteria were determined. The results of the second stage of the study were subjected to two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p < 0.05). The study showed that the addition of milled flaxseed to yogurts in the amount of 1% was optimal. Time and form of flaxseed supplementation significantly influenced the changes in active acidity, apparent viscosity, and syneresis in the tested yogurts. The addition of flaxseed did not significantly change the content of yogurt bacteria. The results indicate that to achieve increased apparent viscosity and reduced syneresis, it is more advantageous to use milled flaxseed rather than whole flaxseed.
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Lignans are phytoestrogens which are present in a wide variety of plants. Epidemiological studies indicate that phytoestrogen-rich diets reduce risk of various hormone-dependent cancers, heart disease, and osteroporosis. One of the reachest dietary sources of lignans are flaxseeds, with glycosides of secoisolariciresinol (SECO) and matairesinol (MAT) as the major components. In this study LC-MS/MS method for the determination of plant lignans SECO and MAT in flaxseed was developed for analysis of a wide range of samples: (/') nine cultivars of oil flax treated with two types of fertilisers containing humic acids and (ii) fibre flax cultivar Venica fertilized with preparations containing various amounts of zinc. The levels of major phytoestrogen, SECO, were in range 2312-6994 mg/kg in oil flax and 1570-3100 mg/kg in fibre flax. The content of MAT was significantly lower, ranging from 3 to 9 in oil ñax and 7-27 mg/kg in fibre flax.
The genus Linum consists of about 200 species of annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs. Most of our knowledge of the chemical constituents of members of the genus is limited to far fewer of the species. Most of the knowledge is, not surprisingly, based on studies of L. usitatissimum, the common oilseed and fiber flax species. Traditionally the utility of flax was driven by the value of its oil and the durable linen fabrics made from the stem fibers. The presence of gums in flaxseed has long been known and these gums are now being slowly developed for food and non-food uses. More recently the principal dibenzylbutyl-type lignan found in the seed of both oilseed and fiber flax has attracted significant attention as a potential pharmaceutical or nutraceutical therapy for some forms of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lupus nephritis (see Chapters 8, 9 and 10). Other species of the genera produce podophyllotoxin-type lignans that are of interest because of their antiviral and cytotoxic activities (see Chapter 12).
This handbook is filled with over 50 illustrations and descriptions of approximately 250 plants which are used for herbal medicine. It includes the most current information available today on medicinal plants ranging from Abies spectabilis to Zizyphus vulgaris. The purpose of this handbook is to make available a reference for easy, accurate identification of these herbs. Derived from India, “Ayurveda” is the foundation stone of their ancient medical science. Approximately 80 percent of the population of India and other countries in the East continue to utilize this system of medicinal treatment. It is believed that the key to successful medication is the use of the correct herb. This is an indispensable resource for all physicians, pharmacists, drug collectors, and those interested in the healing art.
Responding to the expansion of scientific knowledge about the roles of nutrients in human health, the Institute of Medicine has developed a new approach to establish Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and other nutrient reference values. The new title for these values Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), is the inclusive name being given to this new approach. These are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes applicable to healthy individuals in the United States and Canada. This new book is part of a series of books presenting dietary reference values for the intakes of nutrients. It establishes recommendations for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. This book presents new approaches and findings which include the following: The establishment of Estimated Energy Requirements at four levels of energy expenditure Recommendations for levels of physical activity to decrease risk of chronic disease The establishment of RDAs for dietary carbohydrate and protein The development of the definitions of Dietary Fiber, Functional Fiber, and Total Fiber The establishment of Adequate Intakes (AI) for Total Fiber The establishment of AIs for linolenic and a-linolenic acids Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges as a percent of energy intake for fat, carbohydrate, linolenic and a-linolenic acids, and protein Research recommendations for information needed to advance understanding of macronutrient requirements and the adverse effects associated with intake of higher amounts Also detailed are recommendations for both physical activity and energy expenditure to maintain health and decrease the risk of disease. © 2002/2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.