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The Flax Fight against Cancer

Populations with high fiber diets and high intakes of phytochemicals called lignans have very low rates of hormone-dependant cancers, such as breast, prostate, and endometrium. As research into the function of lignans in cancer prevention continues, flaxseed shares center stage as a high-fiber food that is also one of nature's richest sources of lignans.

Lignans and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are found abundantly in flaxseed. ALA deficiency is the most significant contributor to the spread of cancer to other parts of the body, which is the main cause of death among breast cancer patients. (Worldsources, Inc. 2001) While population studies of diet and disease risk suggest an anticancer role for flaxseed, studies in laboratory animals confirm the anticancer properties of flaxseed lignans. Currently, long-term studies of flaxseed effects in women with breast cancer are underway at The University of Toronto. (Thompson and Cunnane, 2003 ) Those conducting the research, Thompson et al, contest that flaxseed may be effective in both cancer treatment and prevention. (Thompson et al, 2005).


Kathie Richardson
NDSU Library
Fargo, ND 58105

Last updated: 09.04.2008

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