Aging, your environment, and certain lifestyle choices, such as what you eat or drink, can modify your DNA, without changing its overall structure. This type of modification is called an epigenetic change, and can turn your genes on or off.
Q: Does flaxseed protect against breast cancer or increase the risk?
A: Flaxseed most often raises questions regarding breast cancer because of its compounds called lignans. These compounds, sometimes called phytoestrogens, have a chemical structure similar to estrogen. At first glance, it might seem that would increase risk of estrogen-sensitive (ER-positive) breast cancer, which is spurred by excess estrogen.
However, research suggests these tiny brown seeds do not increase cancer risk and could even be protective.
In animal studies of human breast cancer, flaxseed and lignans isolated from it reduce breast cancer development, slow growth of existing breast tumors and lower levels of several growth factors that promote breast cancer. Human studies are limited but suggest that if anything, including one to four tablespoons of flaxseed per day might reduce breast cancer risk, especially in post-menopausal women. Read more… “HealthTalk: Flaxseed and Breast Cancer”
We just released our Breast Cancer Report, updating the research and findings from 2010. The new 120-page report packs a lot of research, statistics and discussion of lifestyle factors relating to breast cancer risk.
What do all the stats and research mean for you? Here are three of the most important take-aways, the major findings and how you can put them into action.