FAQ: Does flaxseed reduce the risk of cancer?

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Answer

Flaxseed is the richest source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that have cancer preventative properties. Prostate and breast cancer are leading types of cancer in men and women, respectively. Sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) play important roles in the development and spread of these cancers. Lignans can beneficially alter the activity of estrogen and testosterone in our bodies to help reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers. The antioxidant properties of lignans also can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is to cancer like fuel is to fire. The ALA in flaxseed also may provide anti-inflammatory effects. Regular consumption of flaxseed increases dietary fibre intake. Diets high in fibre are associated with reduced risk of death due to cancer. For individuals diagnosed with cancer, flaxseed does not appear to interact with drug therapy.