Flax Seed & Cancer

Flax Seed and Cancer Relief

The high fiber and lignan content of flax seed has intrigued scientists, nutritionists and physicians in regard to its preventative nature with certain cancers. Flax seed and cancer relief have a link that will be pursued with all available resources. It has been shown that flax seed consumption can protect against or slow digestive and hormone-reactive cancers, breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancers have been studied with flax – all with positive results!

How Flax Seed Can Help Breast Cancer or Colon Cancer

Diets rich in fiber have long been held as a safeguard against colon cancer. Flax seed can help breast cancer. Keeping a healthy balance of fiber from fruits and vegetables is enhanced when high-fiber flax seed is introduced into the daily eating routine.

Good defense in prevention of colon cancer is to keep the digestive tract active. The fiber in flax seed is helpful in regulating bowel movements and preventing constipation. Because flaxseed’s insoluble fiber content is able to hold water, this in turn helps soften the stool and allows it to move through the colon quickly. Maintaining a well-hydrated body is also helpful to keep the digestive tract active and efficient. It is especially important to drink more water when you increase your consumption of fiber. These common-sense habits are essential to a prevention-based lifestyle, guarding against colon cancer.


Thanks to my sister, V.J. Sweet, we received the first flax seed ever for us. We were quite interested in what she said since there has been colon cancer in our family. The doctor told my cousin that colon cancer is from fesses staying and fermenting in the colon. Thanks to your flax seed information - none of us have that family problem anymore. I called my relatives to give them the information but found that their doctor had already told them and they too were on the program. We are spreading the information at every chance. We love the taste and if by chance we forget it one day, we fill we lost a treat in flavor.

Thanks Again & Again,

Lignans first entered the limelight about two decades ago, when researchers detected their presence in the urine, blood, bile and feces of humans. After some preliminary lab investigations, researchers proposed that these compounds may be natural anti-cancer agents in the diet. Interestingly, they also discovered that not all lignans appear to have been created equal: although several thousand lignans have been identified in the plant kingdom, very few of them are positively correlated with “chemo-protection or chemo-prevention” against cancers. The lignans in flax, however, are among the happy groups that are!

-Jane Reinhardt-Martin RD, LD
An excerpt from her book FLAX Your Way to Better Health


Breast, Prostate and Ovarian Cancers

The high lignan content of flax seed is believed to be the defense mechanism against cancers that are primarily hormone-dependent. Lignans are a type of natural plant chemical (scientifically known as a phytochemical) contained within the cell matrix of the flaxseed. Lignans are considered to act as plant hormones. Researchers believe these plant hormones mimic the body’s own estrogen type of cells and can block the formation of hormone-based tumors or growths. Unlike hormones produced in the body, these plant hormones do not stimulate cancerous cells to grow. In fact, lignans boost production of a substance that fastens onto human estrogen and carries it out of the body.

The role of lignans and their plant hormone properties became the subject of study at the Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Helsinki. Strong evidence is cited supporting lignans as having cancer-protective compounds. Flax seed has anywhere from 75-800 times more lignans than vegetables or other grain products.

Another buffering quality of flaxseed against hormone-dependent cancers is the omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA). A balance between the good fats, known as the unsaturated fats, is the goal for hormone-related cancer prevention. These unsaturated fats are also known as essential fatty acids and have two categories: omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 EFAs are introduced into our diets with vegetable oils and products made from these sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon and tuna and also in flax seed. Further detail on the importance of this balance is provided in the website link entitled “Omega-3 Fats”.

Essential fatty acid imbalance and deficiencies can change the imbalance of hormone production and the function of organs. Breast and prostate tissue are especially sensitive to these abnormalities. It is felt that a deficiency or imbalance of the essential fatty acids will alter the function of these organs, and in turn, lead the organs to compensate with overproduction of different types of cells.

The most common finding with essential fatty acid imbalance, is a diet sorely lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that a high blood level of omega-3 fatty acids combined with a low level of omega-6 fatty acids can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Certainly, heredity and other factors contribute to a person’s risk in all cancers; yet one cannot disregard the evolving contribution of studies that support dietary influences in cancer prevention and management.

NOTE: Information presented here does not replace seeking advice from your physician.