La linaza (Linum usitatissimum l.) y su papel nutraceútico | Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum l.) and its nutraceutical role

Luis Ojeda, Nirza De la Cruz Noguera Machado, Héctor Herrera


El lino (Linum usitatissimum) es una planta herbácea de la familia de las lináceas, siendo la linaza su semilla de la cual se hace harina y se extraen los aceites. Debido a que los componentes de la semilla han demostrado tener potencial bioactivo (el ácido α-linolénico, los lignanos y la fibra), en las últimas décadas se han realizado diferentes estudios con esta oleaginosa, utilizando modelos de experimentación animal, ensayos in vitro y con humanos. En esta revisión, se describen específicamente trabajos relacionados con la linaza y su efecto sobre diferentes patologías, incluido el cáncer, hipercolesterolemia, hipertensión arterial y diabetes mellitus. Aunque ninguno de los estudios demostró que el consumo de la semilla o de sus componentes, lograron erradicar algún tipo de cáncer, en casi todos los trabajos reportados se observó mejoría en los grupos que la habían consumido en sus dietas con respecto a los que no la recibieron. Aun cuando se ha verificado la capacidad inhibitoria de los componentes de esta semilla en ensayos in vitro, su alcance todavía es desconocido, y quizás pudieran inhibir diversas funciones celulares, expresión de genes, enzimas o proteínas que juegan un papel importante en la proliferación de células malignas.


Palabras claves: Fitoestrógeno, lignanos, cáncer, hipertensión arterial, diabetes.




Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is a herb of the family Linaceae, and from flaxseed flour and oils are extracted. Since the seed components have shown bioactive potential (the α-linolenic acid, lignans and fiber) in recent decades there have been studies around the world with this oleaginous plant, using experimental animal models, in vitro tests and with humans. In this review, studies associated with flaxseed are described, specifically related to its effect on different pathologies, including cancer, hypercholesterolemia, arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Although none of the studies showed that consumption of flaxseed or its components, was able to eradicate any type of cancer, in almost all the reports an improvement was observed in the groups that had consumed it in their diets with respect to those that did not receive it. Even though the inhibitory capacity of the components of flaxseed have been shown in in vitro tests, its scope is still unknown, and perhaps they could inhibit other cellular functions, gene expression, enzymes or proteins that play an important role in the proliferation of malignant cells.


Key words: Phytoestrogens, lignans, cancer, arterial hypertension, diabetes.


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