The lignan macromolecule from flaxseed : structure and bioconversion of lignans

K. Struijs

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Flaxseeds are known already for a long time for their positive health effects. The high content of dietary fiber, the advantageous fatty acid composition and the lignans are held responsible for this. Lignans are compounds, which have a similar structure as human estradiol. As a result of that, they are expected to influence hormone metabolism, and (beneficially) influence human health. However, the lignans from flaxseed are not bioactive themselves. They need to be bioactivated by the bacteria in the human intestinal tract. Firstly, it was investigated how lignans are present in flaxseed. Lignans were found to form oligomeric molecules together with other components. These oligomeric molecules are called the lignan macromolecule. Secondly, it was investigated, which microorganisms are involved in the bioconversion reaction and we isolated the formed bioactive lignans. Via this procedure bioactive lignans has been obtained, which can be used as a functional food ingredient.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Gruppen, Harry, Promotor
  • Vinken, J.P., Co-promotor, External person
Award date17 Nov 2008
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085852476
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • lignans
  • linseed
  • chemical composition
  • fermentation
  • sesame seed
  • bioactive compounds


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