Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600

+32 25889658


Flax Seed: A Potential Medicinal Food

Charu Katare, Sonali Saxena, Supriya Agrawal, GBKS Prasad and P.S. Bisen

Growing awareness about the role of diet and quest for human wellness has fuelled interest in ‘Functional foods’ and functional attributes of many traditional foods are being reinvented. Flax continues to surge forward in its recognition as a functional food and has recently gained attention in the area of cardiovascular disease primarily because it is the richest known source of alpha-linolenic acid, the phytoestrogen, lignans, as well as being a good source of soluble fiber. Lignans have diverse range of biological activities and flax seeds contain a lignin derivative, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside which get metabolized into the mammalian lignans. The flax lignans influence the early risk markers of mammary and colonic carcinogenesis in animal models. Regular consumption of flaxseed products can affect serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, reduce postprandial glucose absorption, decrease some markers of inflammation and raise serum levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and eicosapentaenoic acid. The flax seed has been shown to possess significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions in experimental as well as human studies. The flax seed supplementation in diet revealed potential health benefits in situations like cardiovascular risk, certain types of cancers and other metabolic disorders. There are number of studies indicating the role of raw flaxseed and its baked products in health promotion and disease prevention. This review highlights the potential of ‘flax seed’ as a ‘neutraceutical’ and its role as a protective and therapeutic medicinal food.