What does the research say?
Most research has focused on the effects of flax on breast cancer, and there are those which include its effect on prostate cancer and colon cancer. In the center of the research are ligands and alpha-linolenic acid, which is converted to the type of omega-3 fats called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). It is a source of EPA protective, anti-inflammatory compounds. Lignans are, otherwise, phytoestrogens, a weak form of estrogen. It was suspected that they might interfere with some types of cancer drugs, but the animal studies contradicted that.
With animals, linseed oil reduces the risk of cancer and slows the growth of tumors and reduces its ability to expand. In other studies, it was shown that flax helps reduce markers of inflammation and the size of colon tumors and to prevent the spread of prostate cancer. In a study on postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed breast cancer, regular intake of flax slowed the growth of cancer cells. Several studies among healthy women have shown that the women who consumed flax on a daily basis, lowered their estrogen levels, or reduced them to a relatively inactive form.
Flax is an excellent source of magnesium, manganese and thiamin and fiber, and a good source of selenium and protein and copper. Flax is a rich source of ligands, plant estrogens, and dietary fiber. It also contains:
• Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): approximately half the fat of the linseed oil is the plant form of omega-3 fats
• Gamma-tocopherol: a form of vitamin E.
Add a tablespoon of flaxseed powder on cereal, in yogurt or in a smoothie. Sprinkle it on salads or cooked vegetables. Flaxseed oil may reduce the absorption of drugs, therefore do not take drugs one hour before the meal and two hours after the meal.