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Flax Hull Lignans May The The Most Promising Anti-Cancer Breakthrough

by 24/7 We Report Staff Writers

Flax Hull Lignans are a group of phytochemical compounds that are concentrated in the fibrous hulls of flaxseeds that can have a profound impact on your body’s ability to prevent or even fight cancer. While lignans are found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, flax seed hulls have proven to be the #1 source of lignans because they contain up to 800 times more than any other source. Most Americans do not get enough lignans in their diet and a high lignan diet is linked to lower cancer.

Immune Protocol

Lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-like chemicals and also act as antioxidants. There are 27 different lignans present in flaxseeds and scientists believe they all work together in some unique way to prevent the spread of cancer. Two of these lignans that have gotten the most attention are secoisolariciresinol diglycoside or SDG and secoisolariciresinol or Seco. These potent lignans, as the research is validating, work throughout our bodies to balance hormones, modulate the immune system, stimulate enzyme production, balance the digestive system, and scavenge free radicals which can damage tissue and play a role in the pathology of many diseases. While all of the lignans in flax work together and have a positive effect on one’s health, SDG is the lignan that has shown to have the greatest impact on cancer and has been the lignan where most of the research has been focused.

What makes lignans so unique is that they are not only present in plants, but our bodies actually make them through a convertion process in the colon. In humans they are called “mammalian lignans.” When the plant lignan SDG (from flaxseed hull) is ingested, it is converted in the colon by bacteria to the mammalian lignans enterodial (ED) and enterolactone (EL). Thus, the plant lignan SDG is a precursor to the mammalian lignans ED and EL. Many studies have shown that important health benefits exist due to this conversion of flax lignan in the body. Lignan compounds have shown such extraordinary potential that they have been studied by the National Cancer Institute for their cancer-preventive properties.

SDG, when converted into these two mammalian lignans ED & EL, has the ability to wipe out cancer, shrink enlarged prostates, boost the immune system, shrink breast tumors, battle diabetes, and fight disease on a multitude of fronts. Did you know that one teaspoon of concentrated Flax Hull Lignans contains the nutritional equivalent of two gallons of flax seed oil? That’s right, gallons! While flax seed oil has great health benefits there are virtually no lignans contained in the oil.

No One Knew How To Obtain Flax Lignans In High Quantity Until A Farmer In North Dakota Invented The Process

While many research scientists have understood that inside the flax hull is a treasure chest of anti-cancer lignans, no one has been able to unlock those lignans without destroying them until a Christian farmer in North Dakota named Curtis Rangeloff says that God answered him in response to prayer and showed him how. With the help of his friend Dennis Maw, they figured out how to isolate the hulls with the lignans intact; a process which had previously stumped medical scientists. Previously, removing the soft pulp resulted in its destruction, or more correctly, destroying much of its medical usefulness. Their proprietary process extracts the Lignans in such a way that it provides 1000 times the cancer cell destroying capabilities of just plain flax. Both of these farmers credit learning the secret to this process by attending the World Flax Conference held in Fargo, ND for the last 10 years. It was this knowledge, research, and prayers that blessed them with the idea of inventing the world’s first chemical-free method of mechanically separating the lignan-rich hulls from the rest of the flax in a manner that prevents rancidity and allows for a stable, effective product for consumer use.

Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans boast a pure lignan content of up to 65%. Each scoop of the product contains 150-300 mg of SDG per serving. That's 70 times the amount of SDG typically contained in the same amount of traditional ground flax seed.

In addition to their lignan content, flax seed hulls contain high levels of Omega-3s, as well as off-the-charts antioxidants. To put it in perspective — kale has one of the highest ORAC values (this is the measurement of a food's antioxidant content) at 1,770 per 100 grams. Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans? They come in at a whopping 19,600 per 100 grams. The hulls also contain 4.3g of fiber and 2.8g of protein in each tablespoon. And while the nutritional value of Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans is certainly a bonus, the true value of the product is in its promise as a potent cancer killer.

The lignans of the flax help balance hormonal levels in both men and women. It is the SDG lignan that balances estrogen levels in the body. This is the reason why scientists have regarded it seriously by testing to see the influence of flax on cancer, an estrogenic condition. In short, estrogen causes cells to proliferate. Excess estrogen is not necessarily a good thing, however. There is actually “good” estrogen and “bad” estrogen. For example, we are exposed to too much estrogen in the environment through pesticides and chemical exposure, and through our diet (simple carbohydrates tend to increase insulin production, which in turn, increases the wrong kind of estrogen in our body).

Flax seems to encourage the good estrogen to be created, and at the same time discourage the bad estrogen from developing. Therefore, flax appears to help create a balance of this hormone. During menopause, when the body may be low in estrogen, flax can help the body think it has more estrogen thus helping relieve some of the uncomfortable side effects, such as hot flashes.

Research has shown that people who consume a high intake of lignans in their diet have markedly lower cancer rates. Lignans not only have anti-cancer properties, they have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Flax hulls contain potent nutrients that have the potential to enhance immune system functioning and are effective against many different diseases (such as colon cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, lupus, prostate cancer, etc.).

Lignans & Cancer

"Lignans kill many kinds of cancers, including the presently incurable melanoma. With the exception of palmitic acid, the common saturated fatty acid, specific foods do not normally have the ability to kill cancer cells." -Dr. Stephen Martin, Ph.D., Chief Scientist of Grouppe Kurosawa

Health Sciences Institute (HIS) (, a very reputable alternative health publishing company, was one of the first to break the news on flax hull lignans when they published a ground breaking story in September 2008. Here is just a snippet from that story:

“In two studies on breast cancer cells implanted into immune deficient mice, flax lignans again proved deadly to cancer. Both tumor growth and metastasis were significantly reduced. In one of the studies, metastasis to the lungs was reduced by 82 percent. The average number of tumors was also considerably lower in the test group than in the control group.

The promising studies don't stop at breast cancer. A study in California demonstrated that SDG reduced risk of endometrial cancer in some women by 32 percent. This reduced risk was most evident among postmenopausal women who consumed high levels of both isoflavones and lignans. Other studies have shown similar reduced risk for uterine and ovarian cancers.

A clinical trial in Canada found that higher dietary lignan intake was linked to considerable reduction in colorectal cancer risk. And, according to studies with human colon cancer cells, lignans stunt the growth of tumor cells and actually drive them to what can only be described as mass suicide.

Supplementation with SDG reduced tumors significantly in mice with melanoma. The average number of tumors in the control group was 62, while the average number in the groups of mice receiving SDG was around half that. Tumor size was also decreased.

The American Cancer Society and the FDA acknowledge the cancer-fighting power of flax lignans. The Mayo Clinic says flax seed lignans may inhibit the growth of some breast cancers, and the American Cancer Society cites a study in which the growth rate of cancer cells was slowed in men suffering from prostate cancer.

Perhaps most surprising of all is the support flax lignans have gotten from, get this, the FDA. Apparently even the FDA can't miss a sure thing. They have stated that flax seed lignans have anti-tumor activity and are potentially the richest source of phytoestrogens, and that their significant ability to prevent cancer is recognized by the National Cancer Institute.”

Here’s a noteworthy quote on flax hull lignans:

"Flax seed lignans have anti-tumor, anti-mittic, antioxidant and weak estrogenic activity, are potentially the richest source of phytoestrogens in the human diet and may be linked to a low incidence of breast and colon cancer. Their significant ability to prevent cancer is recognized by the National Cancer Institute. In addition to having anti-cancer properties lignans also have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungus properties."

*(Obermeyer W, et al (US Food and Drug Administration, center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Div. Contaminants Chem., Natural Products Branch), Meeting Of The Federation Of American Societies For Experimental Biology On Experimental Biology March/April, 1993, Faseb J (Fed Am Soc Exp Biol), A863, 1993

Flax Hull Lignans Can Help Protect Men From Prostate Cancer!

Both benign hyperplasia (BPH) and cancer of the prostate are manifest in men beyond the age of 50. Approximately 50% of men greater than 50 years of age will suffer from the symptoms associated with BPH, especially from bladder outlet obstruction. With the ever-increasing proportion of the population over 65 years of age worldwide, BPH is becoming an important medical problem as the world moves into the next millennium. Cancer of the prostate is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer after skin cancer in the male population of the United States, and the second most common cause of death from cancer after that of the lung. Overall, around the world the incidence of carcinoma of the prostate is increasing annually by 2-3%.

The lignans enterodial (ED) and enterolactone (EL), which are converted in the intestinal system from flax hull lignans, provide significant biological effects. Enterolactones have demonstrated anti-estrogen and anti-DHT effects that are of particular importance for the aging prostate gland.

"One study of 25 men with prostate cancer found that a low-fat diet along with ground flaxseed reduced serum testosterone, slowed the growth rate of cancer cells, and increased the death rate of cancer cells." — The American Cancer Society

Flaxs Hull Lignans are incredibly beneficial for anyone suffering with BPH, prostate cancer, high PSA count, or is generally concerned about getting prostate cancer. According to a study conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center, lignans in flaxseed prevent genetically damaged cells from completing their cell cycles, which in turn inhibits the promotion and progression of these precancerous cells into malignant ones, explains Wendy Denmark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., a researcher at Duke University.

Reporting in the June, 2008 Journal of Medicinal Foods, a joint study (Tumor Hospital and Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking union Medical College, Beijing, People’s Republic of China) concluded that flaxseed hull lignans not only improved LUTS (lower Urinary Tract Symptoms) of the 87 test subjects with enlarged prostates (over a 4-month period), but were also as effective as traditional intervention agents (aopha1A-adrenoceptor blockers and 5alpha-reductase inhibitors) at retarding aberrant (possibly cancerous) cell growth.

A recent study demonstrated that flax lignans could reduce prostate size. Rats given the human equivalent of 50 mg per day of SDG (remember, Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans contains up to 300 mg per serving) had significantly smaller prostates than those without the SDG supplementation. The SDG didn’t just stop prostate growth – it actually helped reduce the size of the prostate as well. Current treatments for prostate cancer are radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy.

Flax hull lignans work well for both men and women. Flax Hull Lignans are known to be effective against breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disorders, lupus, skin cancer and melanomas and other conditions. It stands to reason that since these lignans are considered a whole food and enhance the immune system, they would be beneficial across the board. This article is primarily focused on prostate cancer and women's health.

Flax Hull Lignans Can Remove Your Fear of Dying From Breast Cancer

"Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds that lower circulating estrogens in your body. Flaxseed is particularly high in one phytoestrogen, lignan, which appears to decrease estrogen production and which may inhibit the growth of some breast cancers." — The Mayo Clinic

An imbalance of estrogen in a woman’s body is the primary cause of breast cancer. This is usually caused by having too much chemical estrogen from taking birth-control pills, or a lack of estrogen after going through menopause. Since lignans are phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), they are effective in treating a variety of hormone related issues caused by estrogen imbalance. In short term studies women who ate between 1 and 2/12 rounded tablespoons of flaxseed a day had improved estrogen metabolism. If there is little estrogen in the body (after menopause, for example), lignans may act like weak estrogen; but when natural estrogen is abundant in the body, lignans may instead reduce estrogen's effects by displacing it from the cells.

Populations who eat a diet rich in lignans have lower breast cancer. In animal models of breast cancer scientists have discovered that purified SDG lignan reduced tumor size and number of breast tumors. A variety of human studies indicate that flax lignans may have protective benefits against breast cancer. Women consuming lignan-rich flaxseed products generally report a reduction in breast tenderness, bloating, hot flashes, sweating, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms related to PMS and menopause. This is due to the lignan's estrogenic activity.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been shown to cause breast cancer. Millions of women are looking for natural alternatives to modulate and balance their body’s estrogen and flax lignans are what you need. In one study they found that flaxseed was as effective as hormone replacement therapy in reducing mild menopausal symptoms in menopausal women.

For years, people have been attempting to control menstrual cycles. Controlling menstrual cycles has several health benefits including decreasing the risk of breast cancer. Lignans in flaxseed have been shown to regulate women's menstrual cycles. In one study, women consuming lignans in flaxseed did not miss a single cycle, compared to the control group that missed several cycles. In another study women supplemented their diet with a dose of 10 g/day of flax. It resulted in elevated progesterone / estradiol ratios in the luteal phase. This was due to a decreased estradiol concentration. The concentration of lignans measured in the urine showed the level of lignans absorbed. Thus flax lignan clearly has a significant impact in controlling women's menstrual cycle.

Many ladies have stated that tumors in their breast are shrinking within 1 to 3 weeks of being on the flax hull lignans while also claiming that their Hot flashes are leaving altogether too, and only occurring once in a while, in some cases.

In a study with rats, the effect of flax and its lignan SDG was compared with tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen drug, by monitoring rat estrous cycling. After four weeks 66% of the rats taking flax SDG had more regular cycling produced by a cessation or lengthening (by 18-39%) of estrous cycles. In the rats given tamoxifen, 83% of the animals had irregular cycles or were in persistent diestrous.

The control which lignan has over the menstrual cycle has an influence on cancer growth. This is because the less time a women spends in the luteal phase, the lower the risk of breast cancer.

A study of twenty-eight post-menopausal women was conducted in which they consumed lignan-rich flaxseed. The supplementation significantly increased urinary excretion of the estrogen metabolites 2-hydroxyestrogen and 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone. These results suggest that lignan from flaxseed may have chemo-protective effects in post-menopausal women.

Flax Hull Lignans & Lung Cancer

Lignans have attracted considerable scientific attention in recent years thanks to their potential ability to act as highly effective chemo-preventive agents in lung cancer, according to Christofidou-Solomidou, Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Christofidou-Solomidou and colleagues have examined the antioxidant effects of lignans and their protective effects against DNA oxidation in murine models of lung carcinogenesis. The analysis of these experiments indicate that lignans can substantially suppress the proliferation of chemical-carcinogenesis-induced lung cancer cells.

More Stories & Studies Proving Flax Hull Lignans Benefits

To date, more than 100 studies have been published, examining the bioavailability and metabolism of flax lignans, as well as their various health benefits for men and women.

There is considerable evidence from epidemiological studies correlating high concentrations of lignans in the body fluids with a low incidence of hormone-dependent tumors, in particular breast cancer.
Kulling SE Jacobs E Pfeiffer E Metzler M
Studies on the genotoxicity of the mammalian lignans enterolactone and enterodiol and their metabolic precursors at various endpoints in vitro. In: Mutat Res (1998 Aug 7) 416(1 2):115 24

Excretion of both equol and enterolactone was associated with a substantial reduction in breast-cancer risk, with significant trends.
Ingram D Sanders K Kolybaba M Lopez D
Case control study of phyto oestrogens and breast cancer
In: Lancet (1997 Oct 4) 350(9083):990 4

There is a substantial reduction in breast cancer risk among women with a high intake (as measured by excretion) of phyto-oestrogens – particularly the isoflavonic phyto-oestrogens equol and the lignan enterolactone. These findings could be important in the prevention of breast cancer.
Ingram D Sanders K Kolybaba M Lopez D
Case control study of phyto oestrogens and breast cancer
In: Lancet (1997 Oct 4) 350(9083):990 4

The lower excretion of enterolactone by breast cancer patients in our study accords with the findings of a previous small study (seven cases) in which enterolactone excretion was significantly lower in post-menopausal breast cancer patients than in omnivorous and vegetarian controls.
Ingram D Sanders K Kolybaba M Lopez D
Case control study of phyto oestrogens and breast cancer
In: Lancet (1997 Oct 4) 350(9083):990 4

Mammalian lignans inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells and partially inhibit angiogenesis.
Rickard SE Orcheson LJ Seidl MM Luyengi L Fong HH Thompson LU
Dose dependent production of mammalian lignans in rats and in vitro from the purified precursor secoisolariciresinol diglycoside in flaxseed.
In: J Nutr (1996 Aug) 126(8):2012 9

Epidemiological studies indicated that plasma levels and urinary excretion of the lignan and isoflavonoid phytoestrogens correlated negatively with rates of breast and prostate cancer.
Ren S Lien EJ
Natural products and their derivatives as cancer chemopreventive agents.
In: Prog Drug Res (1997) 48:147 71

Lignans have been extensively investigated for their potential anticancer activity, and several have been used as chemotherapeutic agents.
Axelson M Sjovall J Gustafsson BE Setchell KD
Origin of lignans in mammals and identification of a precursor from plants.

The lignan enterolactone showed a three-fold reduction (reduction in risk for breast cancer) in risk for the highest compared with the lowest quartile of excretion…
Ingram D Sanders K Kolybaba M Lopez D
Case control study of phyto oestrogens and breast cancer In: Lancet (1997 Oct 4) 350(9083):990 4

Many Lignans have antitumor, antimitotic, antioxidant, weak estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities and some have been shown to prevent the growth of many tumors studied in the chemotherapy program of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
Mammalian Lignan Production From Various Foods Nutrition and Cancer; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 1991

Flax is a potent source of lignans…. studies suggested that they may interfere with the development of breast, prostate, colon, and other tumors in humans.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Vol. 86 No.23. December 7, 1994 pg. 1748

They (lignans) have now been shown to influence not only sex-hormone metabolism and biological activity but also intracellular enzymes, protein synthesis, growth factor action, malignant cell proliferation, differentiation and angiogenesis, making them strong candidates as natural cancer chemo-preventative compounds.
Ren S Lien EJ
Natural products and their derivatives as cancer chemopreventive agents.

Feeding of SD (the major mammalian lignan precursor in flaxseed) at 1.5 mg/day resulted in a significant reduction in tumor burden and the number of tumors per number of rats in the group.
Thompson LU Seidl MM Rickard SE Orcheson LJ Fong HH
Antitumorigenic effect of a mammalian lignan precursor from flaxseed.
In: Nutr Cancer (1996) 26(2):159 65

In conclusion, flaxseed oil and flaxseed (in a dose dependant manner) reduced the growth of established tumors at a late stage of carcinogenesis whereas the mammalian lignans precursor S.D. exerted the greatest inhibitory effect on the development of new tumors. In contrast to new tumors, the size of established tumors was inversely related to the level of urinary mammalian lignans indicating that the lignans produced by S.D. played a role in the reduction of established tumor growth.
Thompson LU Rickard SE Orcheson LJ Seidl MM
Flaxseed and its lignan and oil components reduce mammary tumor growth at a late stage of carcinogenesis.
In: Carcinogenesis (1996 Jun) 17(6):1373 6

Sources of Information For This Story:
1. Flax: The genus Linum; Edited by Alister D. Muir and Neil D. Westcott, Taylor & Francis, 2003.
2. Flaxseed Lignan: The Power of SDG in Promoting Health. Weisman, Charles A., Junker, Daniel, Weisman Publications, May, 2003.
3. Flax Lignan Information Bureau  
6. Duke Cancer Institute: Flaxseed Stunts The Growth of Prostate Tumors
9. The Health Sciences Institute

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