flax seedMD

Flax Seed Oil Information

Health Benefits


Research shows low incidence of breast cancer and colon cancer in populations that have high amounts of lignan in their diet. flax seeds are the richest source of lignans, 100 times richer in lignan than most whole grains. These lignans add a huge health benefit to flax seed oil, as they appear to play a role in protecting against breast, colon, prostate, and perhaps skin cancer. Although further studies are needed, research indicates that women with breast cancer, regardless of the degree of cancer invasiveness, may benefit from treatment with flax seed oil. Lignans may also protect against various effects of aging.

Lignans are a type of fiber, and at the same time a type of phytoestrogen—a chemical similar to the human hormone estrogen. When you eat lignans, bacteria in the digestive tract convert them into estrogen-like substances called enterodiol and enterolactone, which are thought to have anti-tumor effects, a great health benefit of flax seed and flax seed oil. Lignans and other flax seed components may also have antioxidant properties - that is, they may reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals.

Two-thirds of the fiber in flax seed is insoluble. Insoluble fiber aids digestion by increasing bulk and preventing constipation. These characteristics seem to have a role in reducing incidents of colon cancer.

Studies of cancer patients who consumed flax seeds have produced some encouraging results. In one study, men with prostate cancer who ate an ounce of ground flax seeds (almost three tablespoons) a day as part of a very-low-fat, healthy diet were able to slow the progress of their cancers between the time they were diagnosed and the time of surgery.

A similar study of women awaiting surgery for breast cancer found that those who ate a flax seed muffin daily (with about four tablespoons of ground flax seeds per muffin) had a slower tumor growth rate. Studies of animals, too, suggest some anti-cancer benefit from flax seed. But it's always difficult to know whether it's the lignans that help, or some other element in the flax seeds. Even though many studied show positive health benefits of flax seeds and flax seed oil, not all studies have yielded positive results.

It’s still too early to say that a part of the benefits of flax seeds are that it can prevent or cure cancer, and to recommend it for that purpose, but we can be pretty sure that there could be serious links - all we can do is wait for further developments.

Uses of Flax Seed
Health Benefits of Flax Seed
Side Effects of Flax Seed