Flaxseed Lignans protect older women from hormone dependent breast cancer

October 10, 2008

Scientists at the world-renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm evaluated data on 51,823 postmenopausal women in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. They found that women in the top 25% of Flaxseed Lignan intake reduced their risk of developing estrogen or progesterone (hormone dependent) breast cancer by 17%. Protection was strongest for women using hormone replacement therapy. The study is published online ahead of print January 22nd, 2008 on the website of the British Journal of Cancer.
Note; The Swedish Mammography Cohort is a large population-based cohort of over 60,000 women aimed to assess relationships between a number of modifiable factors and the occurrence of several major chronic diseases. Modifiable factors would include smoking, weight, physical activity, alcohol intake. The conditions they are looking at include a number of cancers, heart attack, stroke, cataracts, osteoporosis, and causes of death. The Karolinska Institute is a major medical university that also has a hospital and clinics. It appoints the laureates for the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology.

Flax Lignans reduce the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in middle aged men

Scientists from the Research Institute of Public Health, Kuopio, Finland state that enterolactone (the major Lignan derived from Flaxseed) reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, and cancer. Because of this prior research they checked the level of enterolactone in 1889 men aged 42 to 60 and followed them for over 12 years on average. The higher the level of enterolactone in the serum of these men the lower the risk of dying from coronary heart disease or other forms of cardiovascular disease. Enterolactone is what flaxseed lignans are changed into in our body. The study is published in the May 2003 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine; a journal of the American Medical Association.

Flax Lignans improve hair loss in men

Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is the most common form of hair loss in both men and women. In AGA there is too high a level of the powerful male hormone DHT. DHT enters into the hair follicle and sends a signal for the follicle to miniaturize; the hair that then grows is thinner, brittle and likely to fall out. DHT also sends a signal to stop hair growth and eventually no hair will grow at all from this follicle.

The enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT is called 5-alpha reductase. Therefore if you can inhibit this enzyme the level of DHT will drop. Doing this in the follicle will slow the loss of hair and according to some studies eventually will allow the signal for hair growth to start again.

In this pilot study by researchers from the Netherlands, a small group of men with AGA were given 50mg of flax lignans daily for six-months from a high Lignan flax complex capsule. 80% of the men had modest improvement in hair loss and 10% had a great improvement; the effects were noticed within one or two months. The study is available through Acatris.Com.
Flaxseed with Lignans in conjunction with a low fat diet significantly slows the growth of the prostate, lowers PSA, and reduces cholesterol’

Scientists at the Division of Urologic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, undertook a pilot study to examine the effects of a flaxseed supplemented, fat restricted diet on men with BPH. Fifteen men who were scheduled to undergo repeat prostate biopsy followed the Flaxseed supplemented diet for six-months. At the six-month point their was a statistically significant drop in their PSA level of about 3 points, a 28 point drop in total cholesterol on average, and a significant inhibition of the growth of prostate cells. In fact some of the men no longer required follow-up biopsies because their PSA levels returned to normal. The study is published in the May 2004 issue of the journal Urology.