Lignans in flaxseed

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 matairesi-nol (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: (i) nine cultivars of oil flax treated with two types of fertilisers containing humic acids and (ii) fibre flax cultivar Venica fertilized with preparations contain-ing 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 flax and 7–27 mg/kg in fibre flax.

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