November 01, 2015

How to Consume Flaxseeds to Prevent Colon Cancer

Excluding skin cancers, colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. In cancer patients, colon cancer is the second leading cause of death.Sadly, most cases of colon cancer are diagnosed at such a late stage that it is difficult to treat, and the chances of successful treatment are severely diminished.

In the case of colon cancer, prevention is truly better than cure, and the good news is that by consuming flaxseeds you may be able to prevent colon cancer – read on to find out how to use flaxseeds for colon cancer prevention and how much you need to consume.

How to Prevent Colon Cancer

In order to prevent colon cancer, you need to understand some of the underlying mechanisms of what causes colon cancer.
Where it comes to colon cancer, there are two very important mechanisms that have been identified as major contributing factors of colon cancer:
1. Free radical and oxidative damage – Free radical and oxidative damage have been shown to be underlying causes of various cancers including colon cancer. When your cells produce energy for example, this process results in waste products called reactive oxygen species. This along with free radicals which are the toxins and pollutants in the environment and in your diet damage the cell walls or the cellular structures like DNA. If cellular DNA is damaged in certain ways, the new cells that are produced may be faulty. You need to prevent free radical and reactive oxygen species damage in your body by ensuring you get sufficient antioxidants to combat these compounds. An antioxidant binds to a free radical compound and neutralizes it. The new neutralized compound can be safely removed from the body.
2. Estrogen metabolism by the GI tract – Although we associate estrogen with women and breast cancer, estrogens are widely used by the body and are present and essential in both males and females. In terms of colon cancer, research published in the Expert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism has shown that estrogen is a risk factor in developing and preventing colorectal cancer.

Flaxseeds Provide Antioxidant Protection

Flaxseeds contain powerful ingredients that function as antioxidants in the gastrointestinal system. According to a study published in Plants and Foods for Human Nutrition, scientists showed that the antioxidants present in the cell walls of flaxseeds are responsible for preventing colon cancer by ensuring healthy gene expression.
In other words, flaxseeds protected cellular DNA and therefore protect cellular replication – the process by which new cells are produced by the body.

Lignans From Flaxseeds can Prevent Colon Cancer

Flaxseeds are not only high in antioxidants but also contain compounds called lignans.
Lignans are phytoestrogens and they function in a similar way to estrogen in your body. They can therefore supplement estrogen levels in the body, which is why flaxseeds are often used to combat the symptoms of menopause, for example.
The consumption of lignans from flaxseeds can therefore help to balance estrogen function in the body, and in this way may help to prevent colorectal cancer as well as breast cancer.
  1. Research in the journal Mutagenesis points out that flaxseeds are one of the richest sources of the compounds necessary to produce lignans. Researchers suspect that the preventative properties of flaxseeds are due in part to the properties of lignans and due in part to the antioxidant benefits.
  2. In another study published in Cancer Letters, researchers have indicated that the compounds in flaxseeds play an important role in reducing the risk of carcinogenesis (the start of the tumor is called carcinogenesis). In other words, it prevents cancer from forming in the first place. In this study, the use of flaxseed lignans in rats reduced the tumors responsible for starting cancer by up to 57%.

How to Consume Flaxseeds for Preventing Colon Cancer

If you don’t already eat flaxseeds daily then you now have another great reason to start eating them.
The bottom line is that the addition of flaxseeds to your daily diet can be highly beneficial for supporting health and can help you to prevent both colorectal cancers and cancers like breast cancer.
  • The stomach cannot get these benefits from the flaxseed if you consume whole flax seeds because your stomach cannot break them down so you need to use freshly ground flaxseed to receive their benefits.
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds can help you to reduce your risks colon cancer, and they can help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and they even offer numerous cardiovascular and other health benefits.

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