Lignan Research and Dosage

Why are Lignans so special ?
We are only just beginning to understand the role of lignans in the prevention of hormone-associated cancers, osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. 

Men and women have hormones in their bodies, e.g. testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.  The amount of hormones circulating in our bodies varies throughout our life.  They influence our health and how we feel. 

Lignans have a structure that is similar to that of human estrogen. That is why they also are called phytoestrogens or (plant based estrogens).  Although lignans have a weak estrogenic effect (much weaker than human estrogens), they can help balance hormone levels in the body.  A shortage of estrogen maybe supplemented by lignans. 

Increased phytoestrogens have the potential to lower breast and colon cancer risk.  Consistent use of flax seed Lignans has the ability to increase bowel function up to 30% - which means that constipation and colon health (i.e. decreasing colon cancer incidence) are also improved.

Moreover, it has been found that lignans have strong antioxidant activity.  Antioxidants help protect our bodies from free radicals while strengthening the immune system.


How much flaxseed or lignans should I take daily ?
The recommended daily dose of lignan concentrate for general therapeutic use is 1/2 teaspoon (5 grams) or a volume equal to about the first joint of your little finger.  (Note—the lignan containers include a measuring scoop).

Use the Lignan concentrate in the same way you do the flaxseed and along with flaxseed.  Add one scoop (1/2 tsp) of the lignan concentrate plus 1-2 tbls flaxseed (ground) to any liquid or food and mix in.   For example, an excellent way to start the day is with a protein shake or smoothie, plus the flaxseed, plus a scoop of lignans and  some fresh or frozen fruit.  Try soy or almond milk as the liquid.


Additional resources
Additional information and a guide to more references maybe found in “Flax Lignans” by Beth Ley and Irene Sonju.  This handbook gives an overview on the subject of lignans, nutritional details, applications, usage and listed references that were cited in the compilation of the data.

Contact Blue Sky Distributors for specific applications or an update on continuing research.





A selection of significant Research Studies



  • Dietary Lignan intake and postmenopausal breast cancer risk by estrogen and progesterone receptor status.
    * Journal of National Cancer Institute – 2007:99:475-86
  • Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in Postmenopausal Breast Cancer
    * Clinical Cancer Research 2005:11(10) May 15, 2005: 3828-3835

  • Flaxseed was as effective as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in reducing mild menopausal symptoms in menopausal women.
    * Lemay et al (2002) Obstet Gynecol 100(3):495-504

  • Postmenopausal women with vascular disease were given 3 different flax diets.  Flaxseed diet with highest level of Lignans reduced high blood pressure and stress hormones to response to stressful tasks.
    * Spence et al (2003) J Amer Coll Nute 22:494-501

  • In short term studies women who ate between 1 and 2½  rounded tablespoons of flaxseed a day had improved estrogen metabolism.
    * Haggas et al (1999) Nutr.Cancer 33:188-195;    Cancer Epidemol Biomarkers Prev 9:719-725;   Brooks et al (2004) Am J Clin. Nutr. 79:318-325



  • Men with prostate cancer were given 3 tablespoons of flaxseed – Reduced cancer cell growth.
    * Denmark-Wahnefried (2001) Jul 58 Urology (1) 47-52

  • Men undergoing repeat prostate biopsy were given 3 tablespoons of flaxseed plus low fat diet for 6 months:
    • Decreased growth rate of benign prostate tissue
    • Decreased PSA level

* Demark-Wahnefried (2004) Urology 63(5):900-4



  • Purified SDG (main flax lignan) reduced plaque build up, lowered total and bad cholesterol.
    * Prasad (1999) Circulation 99:1355-1362

  • Flaxseed is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acid and lignans.  Flaxseed would, therefore, reduce the levels of OFR’s and hence prevent the development of hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis.
    * Prasad, K, Atherosclerosis 132(1):69, 1997



  • Flaxseed ingestion produces potentially anticarcinogenic lignans in the colon.  This study determined that flaxseed decreased the risk for colon carcinogenesis.
    * Serraino M & Thompson L, Cancer Lett, 63:159, 1992

  • Flaxseed, a rich source of mammalian lignan precursor secoisolariciresinol-diglucoside (SDG.) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) has been shown to be protective at the early promotion stage of carcinogeneses.
    *  Thompson LU, Rickard SE, Orcheson LI, Seidi MMM.  Flaxseed and its lignan and oil components reduce mammary tunor growth at a late stage of carcinogensis in :Carcinogensis (1996 Jun) 17(6):1373-6

  • Flax is a potent source of lignans.  Studies suggested that they may interfere with the development of breast, prostate, colon and other tumors in humans.
    * Journal of National Cancer Institute Vol. 86 No. 23 Dec 7 1994 pg 1748

  • Secoisolariciresinol-diglucoside (SDG), an antioxidant in flaxseed, is metabolized in the body and these metabolites have antioxidant activity which are even more potent than SDG.  The effectiveness of SDG in hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis, diabetes, and endotoxic shock could be due to these metaboliltes.
    * Prasad, K, Int. J Angiol 9(4):220, 2000

  • "75-800 times richer in plant lignans than any other plant source.  SDG, Entereodiiol and Entereolactone are better antioxidants than Vitamin E.”
    * Prasad (2000) Int.J Angiology 9:220-225


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The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.