Flaxseed

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Gillian Flower, Heidi Fritz, Lynda G Balneaves, Shailendra Verma, Becky Skidmore, Rochelle Fernandes, Deborah Kennedy, Kieran Cooley, Raimond Wong, Stephen Sagar, Dean Fergusson, Dugald See.  Flax and Breast Cancer: A systematic Review.  Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Sept 8. Epub 2013 Sept 8. PMID: 24013641

 

Our interpretation:

This was a literature review study.  The researchers searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and AMED for scientific material on human interventional or observational data about the consumption of flaxseed and breast cancer. 

From the ten studies researchers chose to include, they concluded that evidence suggests that flax may be associated with decreased risk of developing breast cancer.   Flaxseed consumption also demonstrates suppression of tumor growth in breast tissue of women diagnosed with breast cancer, indicating support for cancer treatment.

 

Lilian U Thompson, Jian Min Chen, Tong Li, Kathrin Strasser-Weippl, Paul E Goss. Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 May 15;11(10):3828-35. PMID: 15897583

The study was conducted on post-menopausal women all diagnosed with breast cancer.  It looked at the effect of flaxseed consumption on breast cancer markers (evidence in the body reelecting the presence of breast cancer) and the urinary excretion of lignans.  Lignans are present in flaxseedand offer protection against cancer in general and breast and ovarian cancer specifically.  Lignans in the urine provide us an idea of its presence in the body. 

The women in the study were designated to two groups.  One group had no dietary interventions while the other consumed one muffin containing 25 g of flaxseed on a daily basis for one month.  After this time, the biomarkers in the women who consumed the flaxseed were significantly lower than those who did not consume flaxseed.  This indicated that the cancer was less active.  Also, the women who consumed the flaxseed had more lignans in the urine which was indicative of more lignans in the body to protect them from cancer.

This study clearly indicates how only one month of flaxseed consumption could lower our risk for breast cancer and improve our chances of breast cancer survival.  Although this study was conducted on patients with breast cancer we also know that flaxseed protect us from other forms of cancer.  With no serious side effects and a few added side benefits, everyone should explore ways to incorporate flaxseed into their daily diets.

A study published in the journal ‘Nutrition and Cancer’ by Thompson et. al.  (Nutr Cancer. 1991;16(1):43-52) showed high amounts of lignan precursors in oilseeds, dried seaweeds, whole legumes, cereal brans, legume hulls, whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits (84 +/- 22). Flaxseed flour and its defatted meal were the highest producers of lignans.