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Flaxseed may reduce cancer risk: New study

Flaxseed may reduce cancer risk: New study Illustrative photo (pixabay.com)
Author: Maria Kholina

Flaxseed is one of nature's superfoods, and it's also quite affordable, unlike the heavily marketed chia seeds, according to a research from the Mayo Clinic.

The health benefits of flaxseed include its richness in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as plant-based compounds known as lignans. A recent study suggests that the lignans in flaxseed may help reduce the risk of breast cancer by altering the gut microbiota.

The research demonstrated that flaxseed lignans alter the interaction between gut microorganisms and breast cancer microRNA (miRNA), which regulate genes involved in the growth and migration of breast cancer cells.

"Gastrointestinal microbiota plays a crucial role in changing many components of our diet, affecting human health," said Dr. Jennifer Auchung, associate professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Benefits of flaxseed

Flaxseed is often used to improve digestion and alleviate constipation, especially in its ground form, as whole seeds can pass through the digestive system without providing the same level of benefit.

Flaxseed may also help lower overall cholesterol levels and LDL (or bad) cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Mayo Clinic offers the following tips for incorporating flaxseed into your diet:

  • Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your breakfast cereal.
  • Mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseed with yogurt.
  • Incorporate ground flaxseed into cookies, muffins, bread, and other baked goods.