Sometimes all the information about cancer-fighting nutrition can make your head spin! I’m learning there are a lot of opposing views. Soy or no soy? Do veggies help prevent cancer or not? Oy vey!
For the past two years, flaxseed has been part of my routine. I’ve been advised by both a naturopath and my holistic practitioner to add it to my diet because of its anti-estrogen properties. So every morning, I take a couple of tablespoons, put it in a grinder, and add it to my protein shake.
Everything I’ve read has been positive about it, but lately I’ve had several people tell me that women with estrogen-positive cancers should NOT consume it. I’ve searched all over the Internet and have found nothing to support this.
Here’s what I’ve learned about flaxseed:
From About.com: “Several studies have been done to determine how the phytoestrogens in flaxseeds may help cancer. One theory compares the estrogen-receptor blocking ability of flaxseeds with estrogen-receptor modulation drugs . The weak plant-based estrogens block the estrogen receptors on cells within breast tissue, starving them of full-strength female estrogen, possibly stopping tumor growth and preventing cell damage. This effect may be most effective for younger, premenopausal women with estrogen-receptor negative cancers.”
From the April 2010 issue of Life Extension Magazine : “French researchers conducted a prospective study of more than 58,000 postmenopausel women who were followed for an average of 7.7 years. Statistical analysis revealed a greater intake of dietary lignans (such as flaxseed) was clearly associated with a reduced risk of (estrogen receptor- and progesterone-receptor) breast cancer. …A Swedish study of 52,000 women reached a similar conclusion.”
From the American Cancer Society: “In a 2007 report, flaxseed reduced growth of breast cancer cells in mice and enhanced the effectiveness of tamoxifen, a conventional drug for hormonal therapy.”
From Dr. Gary Huber, my holistic practitioner: ”Flaxseed has lignans that bind estrogen in the bowel and are an important part of removing it efficiently from the system.”
So I’ve concluded to keep on grinding my flax. It’s rich in Omega 3, which is good for your heart, and I believe there is enough evidence pointing to its benefit for estrogen-receptive breast cancer. Plus, it helps make my protein shake nice and thick!
Do you use it? Let’s hear from you!
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