A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of flaxseeds in breast cancer patients found that flaxseeds appear to have the potential to reduce tumor growth in just a matter of weeks. Scientists believe this is due to a class of phytonutrients known as lignans, which are present in flaxseeds at levels up to times other plant foods. Lignans can be thought of as the Western equivalent of the isoflavone phytoestrogens found in soy foods popular in traditional Asian diets, as they share many purported anti-cancer mechanisms.
To understand potential effects of flaxseed and how they may affect breast cancer, it helps to understand what flaxseeds are, and why some consider them a concern for women with a history of breast cancer. Flaxseed is the richest dietary source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen. A phytoestrogen is a plant nutrient that is somewhat similar to the female hormone estrogen.
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Lignans are phenolic compounds found frequently in fiber-rich plants, such as flax Linum usitatissimum. SDG is converted in the human colon by bacteria into the mammalian lignans enterodiol and enterolactone. Flaxseed, its lignans, and enterolactone have been studied for anticancer activity in vitro, in animal models, and among humans.
Flaxseed, or linseed, may have originated in Egypt. The seeds, oil, and seed meal can be used in many ways. Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens which may reduce your risk of breast cancer and possibly prevent a recurrence.
Flaxseed, also known as linseed, has been talked about since the s as a potential cancer-fighting food. The grain is available as flour, meal, and seeds. It's found in some multi-grain breads, cereals, breakfast bars, and muffins.
Lilian U. Flaxseed is the richest source of the phytoestrogen lignans, containing times higher concentration than other plant foods in the vegetarian diet. Because these compounds have been suggested to have anticancer effects, flaxseed is a food that has a very high potential to reduce cancer risk.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers and the second most responsible for cancer mortality worldwide. Inin Portugal approximately 27, people died of cancer, of which 1, were women with breast cancer. Flaxseed has been one of the most studied foods, regarding possible relations to breast cancer, though mainly in experimental studies in animals, yet in few clinical trials.