Breast cancer is one of the most common cancer among women. One in eight women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There are many factors that may contribute to the development of breast cancer and diet is one of the very important factor.
Researchers are publishing new research on what to do to reduce breast cancer and to ensure early treatment if diagnosed. Some studies have showed that eating of flaxseeds can prevent and even be used in the treatment of breast cancer.
Eating flaxseeds can help reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by at least 40%, scientists claim. Let’s find out more about this.
Why Flaxseeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer
Flaxseeds contain fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and an ingredient called lignan. Studies have revealed that it is the lignans that are responsible for the positive results on the studies on flaxseeds for breast cancer prevention and treatment.
Flaxseeds were known to be particularly high in lignans and are classified as phytoestrogens. Once in the body, these phytoestrogens attach to estrogen, the female sex hormone and are known to help protect against cancer.
German researchers conducted a study and analysed blood samples of over 1,000 women diagnosed with pre-menopausal breast cancer, involving a three year period. These researchers, analysed levels of enterolactone, which is what phytoestrogens become once they enter the bowel.
Results showed that a reduction in the mortality rate of women with the highest levels of enterolactone levels. Their mortality rate decreased by two fifths, as compared to women with the lowest levels of the same substance.
It also showed that a high level of enterolactone, offer similar levels of protection against the formation of secondary tumours and spread of cancer.
The study’s findings, were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and claimed that phytoestrogens helps prevent cancer due to its hormonal properties, by preventing the growth of new blood vessels and killing off cancer cells.
The author of the research, Jenny Chang-Claude, from the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg mentioned that, lignans also lower the mortality risk, aside from reducing the the risk of developing post-menopausal breast cancer.
Also the result was only significant for the group of tumors that have no receptor for the ER-negative tumors or estrogen hormone. This gives reason to note that enterolactone protects from cancer, not only by its hormone-like effect.
Studies of animals anc cells have provided evidence that suggests, the substance also has a great influence on cancer growth irrespective of estrogen. Therefore, it inhibits sprouting of new blood vessels and promotes cell death.
The researchers also discourages people from taking food supplements to boost lignan levels. This is because the impact on hormones have not been fully understand. Eating a diet that is rich in seeds, wholemeal products and vegetables, can be the source of lignans for everyone.
How to Eat Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds need to be grounded in order to get the full advantage of their health benefits. If eaten whole it is more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested. A coffee or spice grinder can be used to grind the flaxseeds.