Hot flashes are the bane of many women’s lives during menopause and breast cancer. It seems this natural food has not proved helpful specifically, but don’t rule it out as a healthy supplement.
June 20, 2011
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A Mayo Clinic and North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) study has shown that flaxseed provides no benefit in easing hot flashes among breast cancer patients and postmenopausal women. They conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study on 188 women between October and December 2009 and found no statistically significant difference in mean hot flash scores between women taking flaxseed and those taking a placebo.
Preliminary data published in 2007 by Mayo Clinic investigators seemed to suggest that consuming 40 grams of crushed flaxseed daily might help manage hot flashes but now it seems that this is not the case.
Flaxseed may not help hot flashes, but is a good addition to a healthy diet as it has protective effects, particularly for women. Flaxseed is particularly rich in lignans, special compounds also found in other seeds, grains and legumes that are converted by beneficial gut flora into two hormone-like substances called enterolactone and enterodiol. These hormone-like agents demonstrate a number of protective effects against breast cancer and are believed to be one reason a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer. Studies show that women with breast cancer and women who are omnivores typically excrete much lower levels of lignans in their urine than vegetarian women without breast cancer
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