Flaxseed has the potential to decrease breast cancer tumor growth

February 20, 2007

Flaxseed is the richest source of mammalian lignans and it has previously been shown to reduce the growth of tumors in rats. This study examines, in a randomized double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial, the effects of dietary flaxseed on breast cancer markers in postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.

Researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto gave 19 newly diagnosed women 25g of Flaxseed in a muffin and 13 women a placebo muffin for a little over a month. Tumor tissue was examined for the rate of cell growth and other important pathological factors at the time of diagnosis and again at the time of surgery. Lignan levels increased dramatically in the women on Flaxseed. The women on the Lignans had a decrease in breast cancer cell proliferation. Markers indicating a poor prognosis and resistance to treatment dropped when on the Lignan source and the Flax also caused breast cancer tumor cells to die. In conclusion the Flaxseed Lignan source has the potential to reduce tumor growth in patients with breast cancer. The study is published in the May 15th 2005 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Flaxseed Lignans protect brain function in older women

In this study 394 healthy, postmenopausal women on a Western diet had their mental health and intake of lignans and isoflavones examined. Using sophisticated testing techniques the researchers found that a higher intake of lignans was tied into better cognitive function and better mental performance. The protection was even more pronounced for women who were 20 to 30 years postmenopausal. The research was performed at the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands and is published in the May 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.