Organic-Flax-Seed from CAOH.COM

Does flax seed oil contain lignans?

Question: Hi,

I use your products and have been very satisfied. I do have a question though, my research on flax seed oil has lead me to believe that the oil (unlike fresh ground flax seed) does not contain the lignans. This is one reason why I buy it fresh and ground it myself. You advertise it as high lignans. Do you have any research to back this up?

Thanks for your time.


Answer: Terri,

Thank you for being a loyal customer and do appreciate getting questions and being able to clarify nutritional misconceptions that fill the internet. Please understand that this question is not meant to be an attack but the start of a fair and analytical conversation. That said, Do you have any research to back-up your statement? where did you get your data? Is it from a peer-reviewed journal or biochemist?

I’ve been doing this since 1995 and have been a doctor for 22 years. I have been confronted with hundreds of questions from well-intended people, based solely on hearsay (from a neighbor, health food store employee, readers digest…), and in some cases very angrily. I too hear a lot of conflicting data on many subjects. Before I ever buy into it, I will do my due diligence and seek-out the truth.

The statement that flax seed oil “products” do not contain lignans can be false or true depending on the processing. How much lignans contained in the oil is a matter of processing and filtration. There is standard, low to no lignan flax seed oil (100% pure oil, highly filtered) and there is high lignan flax seed oil (lightly or non-filtered). It’s the particulate matter that contains the lignans. It’s just like in olive oil and wine. There are those manufactures that filter their finished product and those that leave it unfiltered. It’s up to the customer to decide which they prefer.

Is this what you read?

I have noticed that there are two different kinds of flax oil, regular and high-lignan. What is the difference between the two? Which one would you recommend to purchase?

Flax oil, regardless if it is regular or high-lignan, contains only the oil portion from the seed. It does not contain protein, lignans, fiber, and any other substances from the seed. With that being said, consider these points:

1. In the entire flax industry, not one standardized methodology of plant lignan extraction and measurement testing has been settled upon. Therefore, you will never know if it is high-lignan or not. It is like comparing apples to oranges.

2. High-lignan flax oil is usually more expensive than regular flax oil. So, are you better off purchasing high-lignan flax oil? Since the lignan amounts cannot be verified, it has less omega-3 fats, and is more expensive, you would be better off consuming regular flax oil and adding ground flaxseed to your diet.

Dietitian Jane Reinhardt-Martin

I wish I knew where Jane was getting her data because any first year chemistry student will tell you that if you assay a specific substance you will be able to determine its chemical composition and purity.

This is taken from the assay report of our product:

Amounts of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated fats and lignans (per serving)

Linolenic Acid (Omega-3)……….55%
Linoleic Acid (Omega-6)…………..14%
Oleic Acid (Omega-9)………………19%
Other (Saturated)……………………..12% of which 1.5% is the lignans

Organic flax particulate matter (source of lignans)


Please let me know if you are satisfied with this response and if it adds clarity to the topic.


Marcus Ettinger BSc, DC


Thanks for the information. I read in one of my books that I usually rely on but at the moment I can’t remember which one. I have to find it because I usually use my books to cross reference info. I have a strong interest in health and I do a lot of reading. Some things stick in my head and that was one of them. It was by no means a dig at your products. I happen to like CAOH company.

I truly appreciate your detailed response. I am use to pretty much not getting one when I request info from other companies.