Matairesinol is a plant lignan. It occurs with secoisolariciresinol in numerous foods such as oil seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
The plant lignans are precursors of the enterolignans (mammalian lignans). A number of plant lignans are metabolized to the enterolignans (enterodiol and enterolactone) that can potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Although there are studies which indicate the disease prevention (cardio-protective and hormone associated cancers like breast cancer) benefits of lignans, the results are not yet conclusive. Matairesinol has been found to act as an agonist of the adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1).
^Niemeyer HB, Honig DM, Kulling SE, Metzler M (October 2003). "Studies on the metabolism of the plant lignans secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol". J. Agric. Food Chem. 51 (21): 6317–25. doi:10.1021/jf030263n. PMID14518962.