Higher dietary intake of lignans is associated with better cognitive performance in postmenopausal women

J Nutr. 2005 May;135(5):1190-5. doi: 10.1093/jn/135.5.1190.


Data on the relation between phytoestrogens and cognitive function are still sparse. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between the dietary intake of phytoestrogens and cognitive function in healthy postmenopausal women consuming a Western diet. We conducted a community-based survey among 394 postmenopausal women. Isoflavone and lignan intake was calculated from a validated FFQ. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Data were analyzed using logistic regression with intact cognitive function defined as a score >/= 26 as the outcome variable. After adjustment for confounders, increasing dietary lignans intake was associated with better performance on the MMSE [OR and (95%CI): 1.49 (0.94-2.38)]. Results were most pronounced in women who were 20-30 y postmenopausal [2.02 (1.11-3.71)]. Isoflavone intake was not related to cognitive function. From our results we conclude that higher dietary intake of lignans is associated with better cognitive function in postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fishes
  • Food Analysis
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / administration & dosage
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology
  • Lignans / administration & dosage
  • Lignans / pharmacology*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Meat
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytoestrogens / administration & dosage
  • Phytoestrogens / pharmacology*
  • Postmenopause / psychology*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Isoflavones
  • Lignans
  • Lipids
  • Phytoestrogens