Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, with it affecting 80% of men 80 years and older in the United States. More than 180,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, with over 40,000 men dying from the disease. These numbers cement prostate cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States.
A study conducted by the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, suggests that flax lignans can hinder tumor cell proliferation in men with localized prostate cancer. Experts believe this is due to flaxseed’s mammalian lignan precursors, which have been shown to decrease early indications of certain cancers in the short-term. An article published by The American Institute for Cancer Research supports this theory. According to the article, research reveals there is a lower risk of cancer for those who consume foods high in dietary fiber, like flax lignans.
When consumed and metabolized, both types of lignans, secoisolariciresinol (SDG) and hydroxymatairesinol (HMR), are converted to mammalian phytoestrogens. These mammalian phytoestrogens include the chemical compounds, enterolactone (ENL) and enterodiol (END). Evidence has suggested that these mammalian phytoestrogens may help protect against many different types of cancers, including prostate cancer in men. A known cause of prostate cancer and prostate enlargement is an overabundance of estrogen in the body. Enterolactone helps to restore prostate health by naturally reducing the amount of estrogen present in the body.
It has also been suggested that the presence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. Men have two main types of androgens: testosterone and DHT. While DHT is essential to the development of male sex organs early in life, too much DHT can be harmful as men begin to age. In addition to increasing the risk of prostate cancer, DHT is known to cause hair loss/balding and cardiovascular inflammation in men. Reducing the amount of DHT in the body is crucial to preventing these illnesses.
Flax hull lignans have shown significant promise in lowering DHT levels in the prostate. DHT is formed when testosterone is synthesized by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. Regularly consuming lignans prevents testosterone from being converted to DHT by reducing the levels of 5-alpha-reductase in the body.
Research conducted by Wageningen University and the RIKILT Institute of Food Safety in the Netherlands supports the use of flax products to fight cancer. The results of their study found those who have a diet high in lignans have a lower risk of developing certain cancers. Other studies have shown significant promise of lignans aiding in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. Flax products, such as Original Flax Hull Lignans, are also an excellent immune system booster and can contribute to better general health.
Important Note: This content is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. It is up to the individual reading this to seek expert medical advice and not rely on this information to diagnose, treat, prevent, or attempt to cure any disease.