Flax in diet improves women’s hair in study

A study of the benefits of a Manitoba company’s flax-enriched nutrition bar stands to redefine the term “flaxen-haired.”

According to the Flax Council of Canada, which backed the study through its FC2015 Inc. subsidiary, a nutrition bar not yet on the market “will increase the lustre, shine and overall condition” of women’s hair.

The snack food is made by Glanbia Nutritionals, which operates a flax processing plant at Angusville, Man., about 100 km north of Virden. The flax operation, formerly known as Pizzey’s Milling, was bought by Irish dairy and nutritional ingredients company Glanbia in 2007.

In the study, nutrition bars containing enriched flax were consumed by 33 women aged 45-55 over four weeks, during which professional research cosmologists measured various attributes of the women’s hair.

“They found that softness, smooth feel, lustre, shine, dryness, oiliness, as well as ease of combing and brushing, all improved significantly,” the council said in a release Wednesday.

Glanbia aims to commercialize the nutrition bar as well as the enriched flax ingredient, the council said. The company has also made it known among other firms developing flax-enriched hair products that this “clinical research has been done” on the nutrition bar product.

Glanbia describes the prototype as a “beauty from within” bar, part of what the council said is a trend toward improving one’s outward appearance and health through certain foods in one’s diet.

“It’s a trend which seems to be gaining popularity in the U.K. and the U.S., especially among both male and female boomers,” the council said in its release.

And flax has long been thought to contribute positively toward hair quality, the council said, noting farmers in Europe and the U.K. include flax in show cattle’s rations to add shine to the animals’ coats.

Also, premium pet food makers are known to include milled flax in their products, as it “appears to promote healthy skin and coat in pets,” the council said.

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