Lignan content of selected foods from Japan

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jan 23;56(2):401-9. doi: 10.1021/jf072695u. Epub 2007 Dec 29.


Lignans constitute a group of phytochemicals widely distributed in the human diet. Once ingested, most dietary lignans are metabolized by the gut microflora to enterolactone and enterodiol, also known as enterolignans. Together with isoflavones and coumestrol, enterolignans have been traditionally classified as phytoestrogens, plant-derived compounds that exhibit estrogen-like activity. In addition to a higher intake of vegetables, many studies have suggested that the presence of phytoestrogens in the Japanese diet is one of the factors that might explain the reduced incidence of certain chronic diseases in Japanese populations compared with Western countries. Being a vegetable-based diet, exposure to dietary lignans should be high, but to assess this exposure, a lignan food database is required. Stable isotope-dilution gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry was used to quantify six plant lignans in 86 food items commonly consumed in Japan. These data will complement the previous databases and most importantly expand the knowledge of occurrence of lignans in food to Eastern diets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Food Analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Japan
  • Lignans / analysis*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Plants, Edible / chemistry*
  • Vegetables / chemistry


  • Lignans