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Naturally Lignan-Rich Foods: A Dietary Tool for Health Promotion?

Center for Advanced Studies in Olive Grove and Olive Oils, University of Jaen, Campus las Lagunillas s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Agri-food Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), 14071 Córdoba, Spain
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
IdiSNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBER-ESP), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Barker
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 917;
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lignans)
PDF [1435 KB, uploaded 6 March 2019]


Dietary guidelines universally advise adherence to plant-based diets. Plant-based foods confer considerable health benefits, partly attributable to their abundant micronutrient (e.g., polyphenol) content. Interest in polyphenols is largely focused on the contribution of their antioxidant activity to the prevention of various disorders, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Polyphenols are classified into groups, such as stilbenes, flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans and others. Lignans, which possess a steroid-like chemical structure and are defined as phytoestrogens, are of particular interest to researchers. Traditionally, health benefits attributed to lignans have included a lowered risk of heart disease, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis and breast cancer. However, the intake of naturally lignan-rich foods varies with the type of diet. Consequently, based on the latest humans’ findings and gathered information on lignan-rich foods collected from Phenol Explorer database this review focuses on the potential health benefits attributable to the consumption of different diets containing naturally lignan-rich foods. Current evidence highlight the bioactive properties of lignans as human health-promoting molecules. Thus, dietary intake of lignan-rich foods could be a useful way to bolster the prevention of chronic illness, such as certain types of cancers and cardiovascular disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignans; diet; antioxidants; health promotion; chronic diseases lignans; diet; antioxidants; health promotion; chronic diseases

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Rodríguez-García, C.; Sánchez-Quesada, C.; Toledo, E.; Delgado-Rodríguez, M.; Gaforio, J.J. Naturally Lignan-Rich Foods: A Dietary Tool for Health Promotion? Molecules 2019, 24, 917.

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