New Research Backs Role of Dietary Lignans Intake in Breast Health

LOCARNO, SWITZERLAND & EASTON, PA – June 13, 2006 – Linnea, the exclusive supplier of HMRlignan™, has spotlighted results of a newly published study reporting a relationship between dietary lignan intake and breast health.

In the June 2006 issue of the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, researchers at the Unit of Human Nutrition and Cancer Prevention, Technical University of Munich German Cancer Research Center, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Heidelberg, Germany, measured enterolactone (the bioactive lignan metabolite in humans) and genistein levels in 220 premenopausal women and 237 age-matched controls. The median levels of plasma enterolactone in the case group were 6.3 nmol/l, compared to 9.7 nmol/l in the control group, while median genistein levels were a respective 4.5 and 3.7 nmol/l. The researchers noted a decrease in pre-menopausal breast cancer risk in tandem with increased concentrations of plasma enterolactone. There was no such significant association noted with genistein, and the study authors concluded that “Using biomarkers of phytoestrogen intake, we confirmed the strong inverse association between enterolactone and premenopausal breast cancer risk as found with dietary intake estimates. This result gives support to the potential role of mammalian lignans for breast cancer prevention among premenopausal women in Western populations.”

The role of phytoestrogens in the management of health for women during peri-menopause and post-menopause phases has been widely recognized by academic researchers. Science has established a direct association between lignan intake and circulating enterolactone, with circulating enterolactone correlating with decreased risks of the development of cardiovascular disease and hormonally regulated cancers, such as breast cancer.

Upon ingestion, plant lignans, such as hydroxymatairesinol from the Norway Spruce tree (HMRlignan™), are converted by gut flora to the human lignan metabolite enterolactone which has a soft estrogen-like activity. Lignans are now acknowledged as the primary source of dietary phytoestrogens in both Asian and Western diets.

Commenting on the results, Robin Ward, Vice President of Marketing, Linnea, Inc. said, “Including this new research, seven studies have now reported an association between lignan and breast health. Dietary intake and health are clearly closely linked. Human physiology appears to benefit from the properties of ingested lignans and in particular the human lignan metabolite enterolactone. Research has shown enterolactone to stimulate the synthesis and circulating levels of a biochemical called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Through this activity, enterolactone may reduce the free bioavailable pool of circulating estrogen, thereby reducing estrogen penetration in tissues and the risks of an adverse estrogen balance. There is also evidence that enterolactone may inhibit biosynthesis of estrogen by blocking aromatase, a key enzyme in biosynthesis of estradiol. Collectively through these multiple mechanisms of action, lignans appear to have a positive influence on the estrogen balance in the body.”

About HMRlignan™

Developed in Europe, Norwegian Spruce lignans - HMRlignanä-- taken daily either as tablets and capsules or in fortified foods -- can efficiently boost women’s circulating enterolactone, helping maintain a weak, safe presence of phytoestrogens, which would normally be achieved through lignan intake in a healthy diet and therefore helping to manage symptoms of menopause and support long-term health. The potential of HMRlignanä was first recognized by academic research groups connected to Turku and Abo Universities, and developed and bought to market by Hormos Medical Corporation of Finland and Linnea SA of Switzerland. HMRlignanä is distinctive from other lignans, such as those from flax, in that it is a low-dose, highly bioavailable lignan and a direct enterolactone precursor supplement.

About Linnea

From its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Locarno, Switzerland, Linnea specializes in the manufacture of botanical extracts and phytochemicals, and is a leading supplier to the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement and cosmetic industries. HMRlignan™ is a proprietary, patent protected, product manufactured by Linnea SA. The company’s U.S. office, Linnea Inc., is located in Easton, Pennsylvania. For more information about HMRlignan™, visit our Web site at or call 1-888-253-0044.

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Piller, R, et al. “Plasma enterolactone and genistein and the risk of premenopausal breast cancer.” Eur J Cancer Prev. 2006 Jun;15(3):225-32

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