Can Flaxseed Oil Cause Prostate Cancer?
By Joel Fuhrman, M.D. www.drfuhrman.com
There Is No Need For Flaxseed Oil When Whole Ground Flaxseed Provides More Benefits and No Risk.
It seems that everyone you ask about flaxseed oil and prostate cancer gives a different answer. And to be fair, this is a complex subject that I will just briefly address here.
Recent studies have suggested that flaxseed oil may contribute to increased prostate cancer risk. Fortunately, there is no need to consume flaxseed oil. The best way to get omega-3 fatty acids is to consume whole flaxseed. Plus, when you consume whole flaxseed, not only do you get the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, you also get the richest source of dietary lignans. Lignans are converted by bacteria in the intestinal tract to hormone-like compounds called phytoestrogens that have protective effects against hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. In fact, consuming ground flaxseed has been shown to have beneficial properties for prevention and treatment of both breast and prostate cancer.
When you consume the whole seeds, not the oil, the results show significantly reduced growth rate of cancer cells, and increased death rate of cancer cells. Another way to safely and effectively contribute to your omega-3 intake is to eat a few walnuts and lots of leafy green vegetables. When you get your essential fats from whole natural foods, you get powerful disease fighting nutrients in the process that are not found in oils.
When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, my recommendation is to consume about one tablespoon of ground flaxseed per day, and forgo the oil. I also recommend a small amount of DHA from a vegan source (about 200 mg per day) to assure nutritional adequacy (but not as your only source of omega-3s).
Not everyone requires DHA, but taking a small dose (not 3000 mg as some have recommended) will assure almost everyone gets an adequate amount, without the negative health risks (including suppression of immune function and risk of hemorrhagic stroke) associated with too much fish or fish oil.