• flax;
  • Linum usitatissimum;
  • functional food;
  • α-linolenic acid;
  • lignans;
  • meta-analysis;
  • patents;
  • disease prevention;
  • flaxseed;
  • flaxseed components


Flaxseed is emerging as one of the key sources of phytochemicals in the functional food arena. In addition to being one of the richest sources of α-linolenic acid oil and lignans, flaxseed is an essential source of high-quality protein and soluble fibre and has considerable potential as a source of phenolic compounds. The implications of diets containing flaxseed or its components for human nutrition and disease prevention are analysed in this paper. Results of the first meta-analysis examining the relationship between intake of flaxseed or its components and risk reduction of disease in humans is presented. Some areas of potential opportunities and impact of using flaxseed or its components in the diet are highlighted.

For the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Government of Canada. © Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2001. Published for SCI by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.