Can Flaxseed Cure Cancer

Can Flaxseed Cure Cancer

The flax plant, an​ ancient crop, yields the​ fibre from which linen is​ woven, as​ well as​ seeds (linseed or​ flaxseed) and​ oil. the​ oil, also called linseed oil, has many industrial uses - it​ is​ an​ important ingredient in​ paints, varnishes and​ linoleum for​ example.

Like olive, canola, and​ most other plant oils, flax seed oil is​ highly unsaturated and​ heart-healthy. Lignans and​ other flax seed components may also have antioxidant properties, which means they may reduce the​ activity of​ cell-damaging free radicals.

Recently small studies of​ cancer patients who consumed flaxseeds have produced some encouraging results.

In one study men with prostate cancer who ate an​ ounce of​ ground flaxseeds (almost three tablespoons) a​ day as​ part of​ a​ very-low-fat 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​ flaxseed muffin daily (with about four tablespoons of​ ground flaxseeds per muffin) had a​ slower tumor growth rate. Studies of​ animals, too, suggest some anti-cancer benefit from flaxseed. But it's always difficult to​ know whether it's the​ lignans that help, or​ some other element in​ the​ flaxseeds. and​ not all studies have yielded positive results.

Besides lignans, flaxseeds and​ their oil are also the​ best food sources of​ an​ essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. "Essential" means we must consume it, because our bodies cannot manufacture it. Essential fatty acids are important for​ cell membranes, blood pressure regulation, and​ other functions. Alpha-linolenic acid is​ an​ omega-3, similar to​ some of​ the​ fatty acids in​ fish oil. Like aspirin, omega-3s may reduce blood clotting, thus lessening the​ chance of​ a​ fatal heart attack.

Flaxseeds and​ their oil may also lower total blood cholesterol, as​ well as​ LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

But that should come as​ no big surprise, since any highly unsaturated oil will do that, particularly if​ substituted for​ saturated fats. the​ fiber in​ flaxseeds may also help against cholesterol, since it​ is​ soluble (similar to​ that in​ oats).

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