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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Nov;53(11):1366-75. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200900032.

Fatty acids and lignans in unground whole flaxseed and sesame seed are bioavailable but have minimal antioxidant and lipid-lowering effects in postmenopausal women.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, ON, Canada.


Fatty acids and lignans in ground flaxseed and sesame seed are absorbed, metabolized, and exert some health benefits in vivo. However, it is unclear if they are absorbed, metabolized, and exert health benefits when consumed as unground whole seed; therefore, it was investigated in this study. In a randomized crossover study, 16 postmenopausal women supplemented their diets with food bars containing either 25 g unground flaxseed, sesame seed, or their combination (12.5 g each) (flaxseed+sesame seed bar, FSB) for 4 wk each, separated by 4 wk washout periods. Total serum n-3 fatty acids increased with flaxseed (p<0.05) and FSB (p=0.064) while serum n-6 fatty acids increased with sesame seed (p<0.05). Urinary lignans increased similarly with all treatments (p<0.05). Plasma lipids and several antioxidant markers were unaffected by all treatments, except serum gamma-tocopherol (GT), which increased with both sesame seed (p<0.0001) and FSB (p<0.01). In conclusion, fatty acids and lignans from unground seed in food bars are absorbed and metabolized; however, except for serum GT, the 25 g unground seed is inadequate to induce changes in plasma lipids and several biomarkers of oxidative stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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