Background and aim: Plant lignans are metabolised by the colonic micro-flora to the mammalian lignans enterodiol and enterolactone, which are hypothesized to be cardioprotective. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a plant lignan complex isolated from flaxseed, providing 500 mg/d of secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, on inflammatory markers.
Methods and results: Healthy postmenopausal women (n=22) completed a randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Women consumed daily a low-fat muffin, with or without a lignan complex, for 6 weeks, separated by a 6-week washout period. A significant difference of approximately 15% (P=0.028) was observed for C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration between the lignan complex intervention period and placebo period. CRP concentrations (median; 25th, 75th percentiles) were 0.88 (0.63, 2.05) mg/L at baseline and 0.92 (0.59, 1.49) mg/L after the lignan complex intervention period compared with 0.80 (0.62, 1.62) mg/L at baseline and 1.10 (0.72, 1.62) mg/L after placebo. No significant differences in interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, soluble intracellular adhesion molecule-1, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 were found between the lignan complex intervention period and placebo period.
Conclusion: Daily consumption for 6 week of a low-fat muffin enriched with a lignan complex may reduce CRP concentrations compared to a low-fat muffin with no lignans added.