Flax seeds are very versatile. They can be ground up and put into muffins, baked into bread and folded into smoothies.
We’ve long known that these tiny brown seeds were good for us. But compelling new research shows they can also help in the fight against breast cancer. I want to stress, right up front, that I’m not a doctor. I can’t give medical advice or promise that any food or herbal remedy will keep you healthy.
All I can do is pass along already published information on the potential benefits of including flax in your diet. As always, please direct any health questions to your doctor. He or she is the one who can guide you on whether or not to add flax to your food.
Flax Seeds and Breast Cancer – What Every Woman Should Know
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A growing number of alternative and mainstream medical practitioners now recommend that all women, even if they’ve never had breast cancer, include flax seed in their diet.
Flax seeds contain an abundance of nutrients,and they are a good source of alpha linolenic acid, a nutrient our body needs, but often doesn’t get. This is a type of omega-3 essential fatty acid.
Are Flax Seeds Good for Breast Cancer?
The journal of Integrative Cancer Therapies published an analysis of studies already done on flax and breast cancer. These showed that flax consumption likely lowers a woman’s risk of developing the disease. There is also evidence to show that breast cancer patients who eat flax seeds probably have a nearly 33 percent increased chance of survival.
In addition, authors of this work found that flax consumption increases the rate that cancer cells die and may prevent malignancies from spreading. There was also a reduction in reported hot flashes among the women studied. Many of the study subjects who ate flax reported their mental outlook increased as well.
Flax Seed Muffins and Breast Cancer
An earlier study in the Clinical Cancer Research Journal found that women who ate muffins made with ground flax seed showed an increase in cancer cell death, as measured by markers, compared to a group of women who ate regular muffins. This is remarkable, considering that muffins are not highest on the list of healthy foods.
But What About the Natural Estrogen Found in Flax?
Breast cancer is often fueled by estrogen, and flax contains phytoestrogens that mimic the estrogen hormones produced in the body. However, the kind of estrogen found in flax have been found to suppress the natural production of estradiol, the type that can promote growth of hormone-dependent cancers. So the type of estrogen derived from flax may have a protective effect, as noted in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (But, again, ask your doctor for advice especially if you’re a breast cancer survivor.)
Flax seeds should always be ground in a coffee grinder just before eating them, in order to reap the most benefits. Do not grind seeds and store, as they break down quickly when not in their whole form.
What About Flax and Other Types of Cancers?
I try to give my readers information on staying healthy. This way, they can do their own research.
It would be remiss to write an article about the potential anti-cancer activity of flax seeds without mentioning the Budwig protocol. This is a diet developed by the late Dr. Johanna Budwig, PhD., who successfully treated advanced cancer patients whom the medical establishment had given up on. A number of books have been written on the Budwig protocol, including A Day in the Budwig Diet: The Book, a complete guide to this diet.
The cornerstone of Dr. Budwig’s program was a diet that included cottage cheese and flax seed oil. When these two were combined, a chemical reaction ensued that enabled the body to pump more oxygen into the malignant cells, according to her theory. Cancer, she believed, grows in anaerobic conditions.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.