Context: Linum usitatissimum (Linn); known as Flaxseed, is one of the most important medicinal
plants traditionally used for health benefits and also as nutritional purposes.
Objective: Estimation of total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and evaluation of the antioxidant, antiinflammatory
and anticancer activities have been performed on hexane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and
methanol extracts and also on fractions of methanol extract (hexane, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol).
Materials and Methods: Phenolic and flavonoid contents were detected using spectrophotometric and
colorimetric assays. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities were estimated in-vitro. Anticancer
activity of extracts was tested on Hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2) and breast cancer cell line
Results: The methanolic extract and its ethyl acetate fraction showed higher contents of total phenols
and flavonoids. Also, the methanolic extract showed a higher antioxidant activity. The butanolic and
ethyl acetate fractions at concentration 500μg/ml yielded a higher percent of inhibition of protein denaturation;
87.9% and 90%, respectively. The ethyl acetate fraction and the methanolic extract showed
an obvious anticancer activity against HepG2 and MCF7 (IC50=60±0.24 and 29.4±0.12μg. ml-1) and
(IC50=94.7±0.21 and 227±0.48μg. ml-1), respectively. The GC-MS analysis showed that the methanolic
extract had 32 compounds whereas the ethyl acetate and butanol fractions contained 40 and 36 compounds,
Conclusion: Flaxseed contains different biologically active compounds that have been found to possess
various activities, which can protect the human body against several diseases.