A member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae, flax is a food and fiber crop grown in cooler regions. Flaxseeds contain high levels of dietary fiber as well as lignans, various micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that flaxseeds may lower cholesterol levels, although with differing results in terms of gender. Flaxseed has been the focus on increased interest in the field of diet and disease research due to the potential health benefits associated with some of its biologically active components: oil containing about 59% a-linolenic acid (ALA) and the presence of plant lignin secoisolariciresinol diglycoside. The health benefits of flaxseed lignans are due to their antioxidant activity, which could be a significant part of a treatment regimen for cancer (though additional research is needed). Adding flaxseed to the diet also may decrease insulin resistance in pre-diabetics and help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study published in Nutrition Research. Moreover, a 2012 study by the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine also showed that daily consumption of flaxseed fortified bakery products could reduce blood pressure levels in patients with peripheral arterial disease.