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Flaxseed: Lignans and Protein Reason for Health Benefits?

Lignans are phytoestrogens with a phenol group as organic radical. By adding an amine to a lignan, a neurotransmitter may be formed. Though cell metabolism would prefer phenylalanine or even better tyrosine as precursor to dopamine. Meats are a good source of phenylalanine and tyrosine.

Phenylalanine is found in plant and animal protein.

Additionally, dopamine has in addition to its role as neurotranmitter in neurons, a neurohormone effect in the hypothalamus, which controls mood, behavior and appetite.

In contrast, acetylcholine has an amine added to the acetyl group. Its role is neuromodulation i.e. moderates the dopamine and serotonin levels due to its slow breakdown. Usually acetylcholine accumulates in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).

Choline is found in lecithin which is found in most animal meats and plants. Good food sources of choline include eggs, beef, chicken and turkey. Although animal proteins are the highest dietary sources of choline, vegetarians and vegans can obtain adequate choline through wheat germ, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, collards, cauliflower and soy milk.

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As for tryptophan, it consists of an indole radical, propanoic acid and an amine. The body metabolizes it into serotonin in the gut.

It is found in protein from both animal and plant sources. Fish contains the most healthiest source of tryptophan, along with beans, nuts and seeds, and milk products.

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