Prostate Enlargement Flaxseed Oil – Does flaxseed oil relieve prostate enlargement symptoms?
Many studies suggest that prostate cancer risk is related to diet and nutrition. At this point, however, we don’t yet know all the details. We aren’t sure which specific nutrients might increase or decrease prostate cancer risk.
Researchers are looking at connections between prostate cancer and a variety of dietary factors, including selenium, vitamin E, type and amount of dietary fat, soy foods, omega-3 fats, and lignans. Lignans are a group of nutrients found in berries, nuts, and seeds, particularly flaxseeds. More studies are needed to better clarify how nutrition may relate to prostate cancer risk and prevention.
Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which are commonly referred to as “phytoestrogens.” Other foods, such as soy, contribute phytoestrogens to the diet as well. Many health experts suspect that because phytoestrogens resemble our own estrogens, having them in the diet may affect our risk of hormone-related cancers, including prostate cancer.
Studies in Western populations, such as in the United States and Europe, haven’t given clear answers on the relationship between phytoestrogens in the diet and prostate cancer risk. Most people in these places don’t eat a lot of phytoestrogens, so the question is tough to study there.
However, in many Asian countries, where much of the population eats phytoestrogen-rich foods on a regular basis, particularly soy foods, rates of hormone-related cancers are lower. This doesn’t prove cause and effect.
In other words, we don’t know if it is the phytoestrogens in the diet or some other food or lifestyle factor that protects against certain cancers, including prostate cancer. However, it does appear that phytoestrogen-rich foods, such as soy and flaxseeds, may offer prostate cancer-protective effects.
Some studies have found that a type of fat found in flaxseeds, called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, actually may make prostate tumors more aggressive. This seems confusing: how can the seeds provide benefit, but the fat from these seeds cause harm?
Flaxseed oil doesn’t contain lignans, the nutrients that are thought to potentially reduce prostate tumor aggressiveness. It only contains pure fat, and it’s a type of fat that may cause more harm than good. Also, some health experts suspect that genetic differences in how men metabolize alpha linolenic acid may contribute to whether or not this fat is harmful in terms of prostate tumor growth.