The company sells a flax extract with a standardized concentration of 20 per cent of the main flaxseed lignan SDG. It says other lignans cannot refer to the same research showing health benefits as they have a different chemical structure.
"Study results indicate that SDG's ability to balance hormones throughits conversion into mammalian lignans plays a crucial role in its health benefits. Lignans found in other sources, such as HMRLignan [from Norway Spruce trees] are metabolized differently by the body and are less available for conversion into mammalian lignans," said Jocelyn Mathern, the firm's technical specialist.
Differences in this key chemical interaction mean that research results pertaining to SDG from flax cannot be extrapolated to other lignan sources, she added.
Acatris is coming under pressure from suppliers of new lignan products, such as Swiss company Linnea, which launched a HMRlignan earlier this year. It says that HMR (hydroxymatairesinol) is a direct precursor in humans to enterolactone, a class of phytoestrogens associated with cardiovascular health, breast health, menopause and prostate health.
Acatris is urging consumers to look for products with a label showing how much SDG is present to ensure there is a standardized amount of lignans per serving.
It previously issued similar advice to consumers in January this year. Ingredient makers are increasingly communicating directly to consumers in an attempt to get brand recognition.