Evaluating the health impact of increased linseed consumption in the Danish population

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Consumption of linseeds has been suggested to have beneficial effects on human health. However, toxic constituents of linseed may compromise these benefits. We conducted a quantitative risk-benefit assessment to evaluate the overall health impact of increasing linseed intake up to 45 g/day in the Danish population (15-74 years). We quantified the risks associated with increased cadmium exposure and the benefits associated with increased intake of dietary fibre. Increased intakes of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) were included in a sensitivity analysis. The overall health impact of different linseed intake scenarios was estimated in terms of Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). We found that the beneficial effects of linseed due to increased intake of dietary fibre outweighed the adverse health effects due to increased cadmium exposure in all scenarios. Up to 670 DALYs/100,000 individuals could be averted per year by increasing linseed consumption in the Danish population. The estimated beneficial health impact increased further when including ALA in the assessment. Different sources of uncertainty might affect the results, and more research is needed on both the health effects associated with intake of linseed and its constituents, and the bioavailability of ALA and cadmium from linseed to further improve the risk-benefit assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114308
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Linseeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Risk-benefit assessment (RBA)
  • Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY)
  • Health impact
  • Exposure


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