Flaxseed May Curb Prostate Tumor Growth
Popular Plant Product Slows Out-of-Control Cancer Cell Division
WebMD News Archive
June 4, 2007 (Chicago) -- A diet rich in flaxseed may help curb the growth
of prostate tumors, preliminary research suggests.
Reducing fat in the diet, however, does not appear to have any effect on
prostate cancer growth, says researcher Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, a
professor in the school of nursing and the department of surgery at Duke
University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
The researchers studied 161 men with prostate cancer scheduled to have their
tumors surgically removed.
In the month prior to surgery, they were divided into four groups: one
followed their regular diets, one took 30 grams of flaxseed a day, one
restricted their dietary intake of fat to less than 20% of total calories, and
one took flaxseed and restricted their dietary fat.
Prostate Tumor Growth Slows
As measured by how fast their cancer cells were dividing, tumors grew about
30% to 40% slower in the men taking flaxseed whether or not they followed a
“It’s reasonable to suspect that reducing cell proliferation -- the rate at
which cancer cells divide -- is a good thing and likely to be associated with
relief of symptoms and better survival,” Ted Gansler, MD, director of medical
content at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, tells WebMD. Gansler was not
involved with the research.
Demark-Wahnefried notes that flaxseed didn’t cause side effects such as
nausea or vomiting.
The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of