Lignans and coronary heart disease

The lignan MAT might be inversely related to CHD

The median total lignan intake in elderly men in Zutphen was 977 microgram/d. The intake of the lignan MAT (matairesinol) was significantly inversely related to 15-year fatal CHD – in contrast to the total lignan intake which was unrelated. The inverse association between MAT and CHD mortality could be due to an associated factor such as wine consumption.

How to measure lignans

Lignans are diphenolic compounds present in plant foods (and not to be confused with lignin, one of the dietary fibers). We studied the lignans LARI (lariciresinol), PINO (pinoresinol), SECO (secoisolariciresionol) and MAT. These molecules are converted to enterolignans by the intestinal microflora and possess estrogen-like activities. We developed a method to measure the four lignans in foods and beverages. The most abundant lignan sources are flaxseed and sesame seeds. In the Zutphen Elderly Study, most of the lignans came from tea, vegetables, bread, coffee, fruit and wine.

About the Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age where detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000.  Read more about the Zutphen (Elderly) Study.

More about the relationship between diet and CVD

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Smoking and cardiovascular disease

An analysis using data from Seven Countries Study showed that CHD mortality was 5% higher in men who smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day compared to those who never smoked.