Most any fiber will pass through the system without changing too much… it won’t be broken down and absorbed like vitamins or minerals. The article is specifically referring to getting the fiber content from the flax, not the Essential Fatty Acids, which you would get from whole flax seeds or ground flax seeds. The flax seed itself is very difficult for the body to break down normally, you’re exactly right about that, but the grinding is only necessary if you are looking for more of the EFAs.
The study information didn’t specify why the flax seed fiber helped with satiety, just reported that it did… at this time, we don’t know if it’s just the fiber filling up the stomach or some other chemical occurring in the flax seed fiber that promoted the satiety, just that it does. The study author also specifies “Further research is however necessary” so it’s not fully known at this time, but hopefully further research will point out why it works… until then, we just know that it does seem to cut feelings of hunger.
This question was answered by a trained product specialist at Swanson Health Products.
(Note: as per industry regulations, we cannot and will not answer medical questions, make treatment or diagnosis recommendations or comment on disease inquiries. Such questions must be answered by your doctor or professional health care provider.)