Monday, May 17, 2010

Flaxseed-fed chickens shed light on ovarian cancer.....

In continuation of my update on the benefits of  flax seeds,  I found this info interesting to share with. Researchers from College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, lead by Prof. Janice Bahr, have come up with interesting info about flax seeds, i.e., hens fed a flaxseed-enriched diet for one year experienced a significant reduction in late-stage ovarian tumors.

The interesting part of the research lies in that fact that, chicken is the only animal that spontaneously develops ovarian cancer on the surface of the ovaries like humans and researchers  evaluated how a flaxseed-enriched diet affected 2-year-old laying hens (hens that have ovulated as many times as a woman entering menopause). As we know flaxseed is the richest plant source of alpha-linolenic acid, (omega-3 fatty acid). Several studies have already shown that flaxseed inhibits the formation of colon, breast, skin and lung tumors.

As per the claim by the researchers, hens fed the control diet had significantly more late-stage tumors that presented with fluid and metastases as compared to the hens fed a flaxseed diet. Though hens fed the flaxseed diet did not have a decreased incidence of ovarian cancer, they did experience fewer late-stage tumors and higher survival rates.

In addition, researchers found that hens fed the flaxseed diet had better weight control which is important because obesity increases cancer risk. Both diets had equal caloric content, however the flaxseed-fed hens weighed less at six months than the control-fed hens. But at 12 months, the flaxseed-fed hens were the same weight and the control-fed hens had loss significant weight, which was indicative of their failing health. Ultimately, the flaxseed-enriched diet helped the birds maintain a healthy weight and resulted in less sickness and death.
"Through this research, we have proven that flaxseed supplementation for one year is able to reduce the severity of ovarian cancer in hens," she said. "These findings may provide the basis for a clinical trial that evaluates the efficacy of flaxseed as a chemosuppressant of ovarian cancer in women."
Bahr believes this hypothesis is valid and is currently in the middle of a four-year study to determine if long-term dietary intervention with flaxseed will reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer development....

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