Flax is a plant and botanists know it under its Latin name asLinum usitatissimum. For centuries, this plant was used as food and forclothing. Flax plant is also used to ease the cough. However, flax has come tothe spotlight once the scientists found out that these little seeds containsignificant amount of alpha linoleic acid. This is actually an omega 3 fattyacid which posses anti-inflammatory properties.
Flax fibers, also called flax lignans have also beenresearched. These fibers show promising results in prevention and the treatmentof different cancers. Flax lignan may also maintain arteries clear from thecholesterol buildups and positively affect enlargement of the prostate. Flax seedsare additionally discovered to reduce stress in post-menopausal women. In one study, thesewomen experiences lowered blood pressure and decrease of stress hormone aftertaking flax lignans.
Flax for Cancer Treatment
Sex hormones are important for more than just libido andreproduction of mankind. Any imbalance of estrogen or testosterone may affectthe tissue in the body, thus causing breast or prostate overgrowth. In somecases, this overgrown tissue may lead to cancers of the breasts or of theprostate.
Flax lignans are proven to work as phyto-estrogens(estrogens from the plant). After digestion, these lignans are metabolized and metabolites are able to prevent over stimulating effects of the hormones. By doingso, flax lignans support the growth of healthy cells instead of cancer cells. Anotherthing is the reaction with certain enzymes known to promote development of thecancer. Scientists used these facts and concluded that flax seeds may be veryhelpful for patients suffering from cancers.
Lignan-rich diet is statistically associated with lowerbreast cancer rates. People on this type of diet are the proof that flax lignanscan be used for prevention of breast cancer. Some scientific studies confirmedthis idea. Women involved in the study experienced decreased growth of thetumor after being on the diet rich in flax seeds.
Flax lignans are also antioxidants, able to fight againstharmful free radicals in the body. This is also suggested mechanism of action offlax seeds in prevention of cancers.
Men may also use flax. Overgrown prostate cells may cause prostatecancer because of the excess of certain hormones. Low fat diet and flax lignansare found out to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Men in the study havereported slowed growth of the prostate cancer, decreased level of hormones andalso lowered cholesterol. Flax lignans may also be used in men suffering from benignprostate hyperplasia.