Beneflax has a 35 percent minimum concentration of the flax lignan complex SDG (Secoisolariciresinol Diglucoside), and the company claims this is the highest concentration presently available to supplement makers.
This development means that competition will increase in the lignan market, but ADM's entry is no surprise. As a founder of the Flax Lignan Association with Acatris (now owned by Frutarom), since November 2005 it has been working to support the science behind standardized flax lignan ingredients and protect them from the risk to their credibility posed by unscrupulous suppliers.
Beneflax is made by means of a proprietary purification method, which ADM said maintains the flax lignans in their natural form as found in whole flax. The technology was developed by the Flax Consortium, a partnership between the Canadian government and university researchers, and is now under exclusive license to ADM.
"Research shows that flax lignans have many potential health benefits, and Beneflax offers the highest concentration of flax lignan complex available on the market today," said Janice Binger, president of ADM Natural Health and Nutrition.
Plant lignans come from sources such as flax seed, whole grain cereals, berries, vegetables and fruits - they are converted into enterodiol and enterolactone in the colon. The bulk of lignan research has focussed on those from flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum), but some recent studies are looking at lignans from Norwegian spruce bark (Picea abies) - in particular HMRLignan from Linnea.
SDG is the main lignan found in flax and is said to help maintain overall health including prostate, cardiovascular, colon and breast tissue health.
By regulation, new dietary ingredients must be notified to FDA 75 days prior to marketing. If the agency does not raise any objections to the new dietary ingredient within this 75-day period, the ingredients can be marketed in supplements.