T Nation

Flax Oil..

What is the difference between just Flax Oil and High Lignan Flax Oil? I’ve been buying the regular because it is much cheaper but I have no idea what ‘high lignan’ means.

Lignans are present in cereals, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Researchers have found that flaxseed husks are the richest source of plant lignans, with a lignan content ~100 times higher than that of the next highest source. Lignans have beneficial estrogen-like and anti-estrogen effects, and, for this reason, many notable fitness experts – Will Brink in particular – advocate the use of flaxseed oil to reduce gynecomastia. Further, scientists believe the effects of lignans on estrogen metabolism, in addition to their antioxidant properties, may explain why populations eating diets rich in lignans have a lower incidence of cancer. Other studies indicate flaxseed lignans reduce cholesterol, prevent atherosclerosis, and increase insulin sensitivity. With respect to the price of high-lignan versus regular flaxseed oil, you might want to check out the “Health from the Sun” brand on Netrition. It’s a very reputable brand and the price is the same for each type of oil.

Good question, I was wondering that myself…
anyone know?

Because the flaxseed husk has the highest concentration of lignans, it is a very difficult process to extract the lignans into the oil. Hence the high price. I use fresh-ground flax seeds (about 10 seconds in a coffee grinder does the trick) and add them to my shakes. They are also really good in yogurt (no sugar added) with a few scoops of MRP or protein powdwer. Kind of like pudding. I read on another post someone saying they used flax meal, which is the same thing. however, grinding it fresh is the best way to go, since the fats oxidize (go “rancid”) very quickly. I think it tastes a lot better than flax oil, it’s WAY cheap (a pound of flax costs less than $2 at any natual food store and will last for months), and it’s much healthier, with lots of good fiber.

Hey, reege, that’s a cool idea to grind up flax seed. Do you have any sense of how much seed makes for a good “dose” of the oil? I think that would be my biggest concern, that I wasn’t getting enough of what I needed. But at that price, maybe I should just take twice as much as I think it could possibly take and be happy!

Ender–what I do is use about a tablespoon of the seed to equal a tablespoon of oil. However, when you grind it up, it looks like more than a tblsp. Another note–it will make an MRP very thick, so adjust the amount of liquid you add. I like the way it makes yogurt thicker, or I even add it to Cottage cheese (you’ll need to use a hand blender for this one). Add a little 1/2-1/2 to keep carbs down if you are following the Massive eating diet, and a scoop of protein powder and you are good to. Try some peanut or almond butter in it too. Mmm-mm. Hope it works for you!