September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has unique tips about how to incorporate flaxseed into everyday recipes. Flaxseed, research shows, might reduce prostate cancer risks.
“It’s the omega 3 fatty acids and the lignan present in flaxseed that led us to look at flaxseed’s prostate cancer prevention properties,” says Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD, a professor of behavioral science at M. D. Anderson and head researcher for a recent study on flaxseed’s potential role as a power food.
Research shows that cancer risks, including the risk for prostate cancer, may be reduced by 30% to 40% if people ate a more plant-based diet. This healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
“Cancer cells migrate by attaching onto other cells. The omega 3 fatty acids found in flaxseed keep cells from binding together and attaching to blood vessels,” Demark-Wahnefried says. “Lignan may reduce testosterone and other hormone levels. Lowering testosterone levels may reduce a man’s chances of getting prostate cancer.”
Demark-Wahnefried and her team learned about the potential cancer-reducing benefits of flaxseed during a study with 161 men. The men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, but had not started treatment. Each participant ate three tablespoons of flaxseed a day. This study and its results were published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
“While our study used three tablespoons a day, men who don’t have cancer but want to try flaxseed, probably don’t need that much,” Demark-Wahnefried says. “One tablespoon a day should be fine.”Source: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center