Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women with one in eight women expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There are many factors contributing to the development of this much feared disease and diet is a very important one.
Thankfully, researchers are publishing new research almost on a daily basis on what we can do to reduce our risks of developing the disease, and what we can do to ensure early treatment if diagnosed. A few studies showed that consumption of flaxseeds can prevent and even used as a treatment for breast cancer.
Why Flaxseeds Can Prevent Breast Cancer
I’ve already mentioned the 7 health benefits of flaxseeds and how food can be used to prevent breast cancer.
Flaxseeds contain fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and a very special ingredient called lignan. Studies reveal that it is most likely the lignans that are responsible for the positive results obtained from studies on flaxseeds for breast cancer treatment and prevention.
Lignans are classified as phytoestrogens and that means that they have a weak estrogenic effect on the body. By acting as an estrogen, phytoestrogens block the estrogen receptors of the body, thereby reducing the amount of natural estrogen that affects cells.
Flaxseeds and Breast Cancer Prevention
According to BreastCancer.org, 80% of breast cancers are estrogen-receptor positive. By interfering with natural estrogen processes in the body, lignans may help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, and may even offer additional options for treatment.
In a review published in the journal of Integrated Cancer Therapies, researchers reviewed over 1,800 patient records, 10 studies, 2 controlled trials, and a host of other studies and found that the consumption of flaxseeds may reduce the risk of cancer and may protect against primary breast cancer.
But as mentioned above, flaxseeds are not only helpful for reducing the risks of developing cancer but may offer additional therapy for those patients who are struggling with the disease.
Flaxseeds as Breast Cancer Treatment
In a clinical trial on flaxseeds published in the journal of Clinical Cancer Research, patients were given a muffin containing flaxseeds or a muffin without the flaxseeds for a twelve-week period. The patients who received the flaxseed muffin had increased apoptosis and decreased cell proliferation in their breast cancer.
Apoptosis is the process that describes cancer cell death rate. Apoptosis is important in cancer because generally, cancer cells live far longer than normal cells. Proliferation is the term used to describe the growth of the tumor. Cancer cells proliferate quickly, which is why cancer tumors grow and spread so fast. The study therefore concluded that 25 g of flaxseeds (2.5 tablespoons) daily increased the rate at which cancer cells died and decreased the speed at which the cancer cells multiplied.
Flaxseeds may also play a role in decreasing mortality rates in breast cancer patients. In a study on 300 breast cancer patients done over a span of twenty three years, researchers found that women with higher lignans lived longer.
Flaxseeds therefore potentially protect against cancer, reduce primary breast cancer, and may even offer you a natural way to support your breast cancer treatment. For those suffering from breast cancer, it is important to discuss supplementation and diet with your oncologist.
How to Consume Flaxseeds
It is important to realize that flaxseeds need to be ground in order to take full advantage of their health benefits, as when eaten whole they are more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested. You can grind the flaxseeds using a coffee or spice grinder.
Flaxseed is also one of the superfoods mentioned in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition and weight loss goals.