Flax Seed Lignans lowers the risk of breast cancer in older women according to an analysis of 21 published studies

May 21, 2010

A meta-analysis analyzing pooled data from 21 published studies, adds to the overall body of science supporting the link between increased dietary Lignan intake and protection/reduced risk of a wide range of conditions including most notably protection from breast cancer, prostate cancer, and reduced hair loss were cited as the mos. In fact increased intake of lignans may reduce a postmenopausal woman’s risk of breast cancer by about 15 per cent, says the new meta-analysis.

Plant lignans, from sources such as flax seed are metabolised in the colon by microflora (healthy digestive bacteria) into enterodiol and enterolactone. Previous research has focussed on plant lignans as reducing the risk of prostate cancer, and in improving menopause health.

The main Lignan from flaxseed is secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), which is metabolised to give enterodiol and enterolactone. These two metabolites are then absorbed from the gut and transported to the liver where they undergo further reactions before entering circulation.

The new meta-analysis, performed by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center, included 11 prospective cohort and 10 case-control studies.

The highest lignin intakes were associated with a 15 per cent reduction in the risk of breast cancer amongst post-menopausal women.

The new meta-analysis follows hot on the heels of a review published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety that found that flaxseed lignans might offer protection against breast, prostate, colon, and skin cancers, while the soluble fibre they contain could help maintain steady blood sugar levels. The study is published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.