Excluding skin cancers, colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the US alone. In cancer patients, colon cancer is the second leading cause of death. Unfortunately, most cases of colon cancer are diagnosed at such an advanced stage that it is difficult to treat, and the chances of successful treatment are seriously diminished.

Flax seeds to prevent colon cancer

In the case of colon cancer, prevention is actually better than cure, and the good news is that flax seeds may also be able to prevent colon cancer . Read on to find out how to use flax seeds 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 colon cancer causes.

When it comes to colon cancer, there are two very important mechanisms that have been identified as major contributing factors to colon cancer:

1. Free radical damage and oxidation

Free radical damage and oxidation have been shown to be causes of various types of cancer, 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 toxins and pollutants in the environment and in your diet, damage cell walls or cell structures like DNA. If cellular DNA is damaged in a certain way, the new cells that are produced may be defective.

You need to avoid damage from free radicals and radical and reactive oxygen species in your body, ensuring you get enough 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. Metabolism of estrogens in the gastrointestinal tract

Although we associate estrogen with women and breast cancer, estrogens are widely used by the body and are present and essential in both men and women. In terms of colon cancer, research published in the Expert Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism has shown that estrogen is a risk factor in the development and prevention of colorectal cancer .

You may be interested in reading information about colon cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Flax seeds provide antioxidant protection

Flax seeds contain powerful ingredients that work as antioxidants in the gastrointestinal system. According to a study published in Plants and Foods for Human Nutrition , scientists demonstrated that the antioxidants present in the cell walls of flax seeds are responsible for the prevention of colon cancer, guaranteeing the expression of the healthy gene.

In other words, flax seeds secure cellular DNA and therefore protect cell replication – the process by which new cells are produced by the body.

Flax Seed Lignans May Prevent Colon Cancer

Flax seeds are not only rich in antioxidants, but they also contain compounds called lignans.

Lignans are phytoestrogens and work in a similar way to estrogen in your body. Therefore, they can supplement estrogen levels in the body, which is why flax seeds are often used to combat the symptoms of menopause , for example.

Research in the journal Mutagenesis, indicates that flax seeds are one of the richest sources of the compounds necessary to produce lignans. Researchers suspect that the preventative properties of flax seeds are due in part to the properties of lignans and due in part to the antioxidant benefits.

In another study published in Cancer Letters , researchers have indicated that compounds in flax seeds play an important role in reducing the risk of carcinogenesis (the beginning 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 reduced the tumors responsible for the onset of cancer by up to 57% in the study subjects.

How to consume flaxseed to prevent colon cancer

If you don’t eat flax seeds on a daily basis, then now you have another great reason to start eating them. Including flax seeds in your daily diet can be very beneficial in supporting health and can help prevent both colorectal cancer and other cancers such as breast cancer .

  • The stomach cannot get these benefits from whole flax seeds because your stomach cannot break them down, so you need to use freshly ground flax seeds ( flaxseed ) to receive their benefits.
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds can help reduce colon cancer risks, and can help relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, and even offer numerous benefits for cardiovascular and other health.
  • You can also use flaxseed to effectively cleanse the colon when combined with another ingredient.
  • You can use these amounts in salads, smoothies, juices, soups, and foods in general.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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