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The Blood Type Diet Archives Volume 18

Trevor, Flax seed, fiber and lignans

Posted By: joachim, AB-
Date: Thursday, 24 January 2002, at 3:50 p.m.

In Response To: Fiber in your diet (Trevor (B))

What a rediculous statement by your ND. Sometimes I wonder how these people get their degree? She basically wants you to eat sandpaper = bran and is not aware that flax contains a high amount of insoluble fibers as well. My oh my. Here is what I wrote:

Flax is also called "The friendly Fiber". As we know our modern diet lacks fiber. Actually, the average Western diet today contains less than one third the fiber their either our grandparents or people in rural parts of the world consumed. According to acknowledged experts, most leading degenerative diseases are partly caused by lack of dietary fiber. Fiber reduces intestinal toxicity, pathogenic bacterial and yeast overgrowth, improves bowel function, stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol and protects against colon cancer, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

There are 2 types of fiber:
1. Insoluble fibers (cellulose, lignins, waxes) are an irritant to the colon and should only be used as a laxative (e.g. bran).
2. Soluble fibers (including pectins, gums, mucilage, and sterols) form a jellylike mass and gently regulate the stool. Soluble fibers also dissolve any hardened material lining the colon walls. Flax and psyllium have a very high content of soluble fibers (40%) but also contain large amounts of insoluble fiber. Few plants contain both, prunes would be another food but does not come close to flax. Forget psyllium (as in Metamucil, which dominates the market). Psyllium comes from India, is of poor nutritional value and on top of it, has to be either radiation treated or exposed to gaseous bromine to kill foreign insects before it enters the US. Psyllium also does not contain beneficial lignans.

Apart from the highly beneficial soluble fiber, flax also contains these lignans (don't confuse with lignins). Lignans are compounds found in some higher plants and have anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Plant lignans are dietary precursors to several human lignans, formed in our intestinal tract. These have been studied and found to be very potent anticancer substances, particularly against so-called "hormone cancers" breast, colon, prostate, uterine and ovarian cancers.

The flax lignan is glucoside, which produces enterolacetone and enterodiol in people. These lignans have a structure that resembles synthetic estrogens, but have antiestrogenic properties. This has been associated with protecting from breast and colon cancer.

Organic flax seed is by far the richest source of valuable plant lignan. If you buy flax seed oil, make sure to buy a high lignan type as offered by Barleans or Omega. Other foods such as rye, buckwheat, millet, soy, oat and barley also contain lignans (2 - 6 micrograms) but flax seed contains an amazing 800 micrograms per gram.

Last but not least, flax seeds contain a nice balance of essential fatty acids, high amounts of our beloved Omega-3 (7%), also Omega-6 (16%) and Omega-9 (18%) plus high quality protein.

That's the good news, now the disadvantages. All raw nuts, seeds and grains including flax seeds contain enzyme inhibitors. Flax also contains vitamin B6 inhibitors. So don't exceed 2 tablespoons per day. Some flax varieties might contain cyanogenic glycosides (a form of cyanide), so you should check with the manufacturer. Ground flax seeds also absorb 7x their weight in fluids so take extra water.

Omega makes a product called Nutri-Flax, quote from their web site:
Nutri-Flax is certified-organic, finely ground, low-fat flax seed fiber, processed and packaged without the damaging effects of light and oxygen.
They gently warm ground flax seeds to inactivate the cyanogenic glycosides and enzyme inhibitors, but keep the beneficial enzymes intact. They then add B6, zinc and natural vitamin E. The product is easy to take, problem is the way it is packaged it will take a rather long time to finish it and the oils might go rancid. Solution is to buy a small vacuum unit and store under vacuum, same for oils.

Barleans also offer Forti-Flax ground flax seeds, more of a cracked seed than ground, quote from their web site:

All the benefits of fiber plus a comprehensive source of organic and naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, Omega-3 fatty acids and Lignan.

Barleans also sells "Essential Women's Oil", quote: Formulated by a woman - famed Nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman. She probably receives a hefty commission, thus the product is very expensive. She is also pushing the anti-cancer benefits for above-mentioned reasons, also advocates GLA from evening primrose oil and soy isoflavones. Please note she is very supportive towards BTD.

As for grinding yourself, I advocate a mechanical grain mill rather than electric coffee grinder. Consume the ground flax seed as soon as possible (within 15 minutes) as Omega-3 fatty acids, exposed to light and oxygen will begin oxidation and free radical activity quickly. Don't store your own ground flax seeds.

Messages in This Thread

  • Fiber in your diet
    Trevor (B) -- Thursday, 24 January 2002, at 10:49 a.m.
    • Trevor, Flax seed, fiber and lignans
      joachim, AB- -- Thursday, 24 January 2002, at 3:50 p.m.
    • Flax seeds
      janet, B+, non-secretor -- Thursday, 24 January 2002, at 2:06 p.m.

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