Doctor's Note

Slowing the Growth of Cancer is good, but how about Cancer Reversal Through Diet? In other words, if one plant could do that, what about a whole diet chock full of plants? See my video series that goes from Ex Vivo Cancer Proliferation Bioassay (by actually Engineering a Cure) to The Answer to the Pritikin Puzzle. And, for benign prostate gland enlargement, see Prostate vs. Plants, and Prostate vs. a Plant-Based Diet. And, for background, also see Some Prostates Are Larger than Others.

What about for breast cancer? See Breast Cancer Survival and Lignan Intake. More on these wonderful seeds in Flax and Fecal Flora. See how I use them in my smoothies (A Better Breakfast), and, my oldie but goodie, Just the Flax, Ma’am.

What about chia? Find out which seed is better in Flax Seeds vs. Chia Seeds.

Since the dietary intervention involved both flax seed consumption and reducing fat intake, how do we know flax had anything to do with it? That’s the subject of my next video: Was It the Flax Seeds, Fat Restriction, or both?

For additional context, check out my blog posts: Flax Seeds for Prostate CancerTreating Sensitive Skin From the Inside Out; and Flax and Breast Cancer Survival.

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  • Plantstrongdoc

    Obesity and obesity-related diseases increase the risk of prostate cancer (vegans weigh less than meat eaters), high concentration of IGF increase the risk of prostatecancer (higher level with animal fat and animal protein intake), dairy intake increase the risk of prostatecancer (IGF, high calcium intake). Lycopene has also been demonstated to have a positive effect in prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. Will this make meat eating men reconsider?

    • Brian Humphrey

      Well said, Plantstrongoc. You know as well as I do regarding individuals who undergo a life altering event happens that makes a them reflect on their lifestyle and hopefully there diet. People ask all the time. How can I get this weight off? I tell them use positive words like fit and healthy and eat plants and lots of it :).

      • Plantstrongdoc

        and the good news is that you can improve your health even when you are ill, by switching to a plant based diet, and even avoid surgery. The body has great capacity to heal, when you remove the cause (SAD). Procedures and popping pills will not make anyone healthy.

    • It may make some men reconsider but in my experience it is more effective if you tailor your message to the individuals fears, goals and values. In looking at Dr. Greger’s videos on vegetables and cancer see… Greens and allium family are more effective in vitro then lycopene which is somewhat effective for prostate cancer but is even beat out by celery.

  • Thea

    Here’s a question that I have long had: Brown vs golden flax seeds? My store sells both in the bulk bins. Brown are cheaper. I would *guess* that brown are also healthier (have more anti-oxidents and more other good plant stuff???), but I don’t know. If anyone finds any info on this, I would be interested.

    I think both colors of flax seeds taste about the same, but I haven’t really done any side-by-side taste tests, so I don’t know for sure. I think that doing a side-by-side taste test would have to be done carefully: I believe that the brown ones are cheaper because they are a lot less popular. Since they are less popular, it is my *guess* that they are older, even in bulk bins. If that is true, I wonder how much brown might taste different just because it is going toward rancid.

    I struggle on which color to get. I currently get brown, but I wonder if I would get fresher ones just getting the popular color. It just occurred to me, I could probably ask the store how often they replace the seeds in each bin…

    • Our Whole Foods store labels then as “whole flaxseed” (brown) and Golden Flaxseed. I should ask them what they mean by “whole”?

    • Richard

      I have read that some golden flaxseeds have been genetically modified, and for that reason I always use brown seeds that have been ground thoroughly in a coffee grinder. I use 6 tablespoons per day and have not had any side effects that I have observed. The Canadian flax seed council, a government agency has done thorough testing of the shelf life of flax seed products, and you can find their paper. I have done this for more than a decade now. After grinding the flax seeds I always refrigerate them.

      • Richard

        I should have mentioned that I always mix the ground seed with emulsified cottage cheese.

  • Rev Marshall Wright

    Unclear in your series on Flaxseed whether the max benefit is after grinding the seeds or consuming them whole ? Great series; an answer much appreciated.

    • Ground! Otherwise they might just pass right through us, come out the other end, and not do us any good!

    • Han

      Whole! And chew them very well! Store them in the fridge!

  • akannapolis

    What does it mean higher ENERGY, protein, animal protein …

    What does the energy part mean in this video? What is dangerous energy?

  • Z

    What about prostatitis? Is there anything that can cure and heal people from prostatitis through diet/exercise?

  • Annamaria

    didn’t monsatan gmo flaxseed? how/where can we find non-gmo flaxseed?

  • lovestobevegan

    This delicious breakfast bowl makes it easy to get your daily 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds which provide the healthiest source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, flaxseeds provide the highest content of lignans (phytonutrients which seem to help in both breast cancer prevention and survival of any food, and are a great source of iron, zinc, copper, calcium,
    protein, potassium, magnesium, folate, soluble fiber (which can lower
    cholesterol and triglycerides), and boron (a trace mineral key for optimum bone health).

    Berry Berry Good Karma Bowl

    – ½ cup regular rolled oats
    – 1 cup water
    – ½ tsp Ceylon cinnamon
    – ⅛ tsp each, ground cloves, ground ginger, nutmeg
    – 1/3 cup blackberries
    – 1/3 cup organic* blueberries
    – 1/3 cup raspberries
    – 24 almonds
    – 2 tbsp flaxseed meal^

    Bring water to a boil and cook oats with spices and fruit (only if using frozen fruit). Lower heat and simmer oats to desired consistency. Add remaining ingredients to a bowl and top with cooked oats. Stir and top with a sprinkling of uncooked oats and dash cinnamon.

    *Conventional blueberries were found to have the residues of 52
    different pesticides so choose organic.

    ^Seeds need to be ground for proper digestion. A coffee or seed grinder works well or you can buy ground flaxseed meal.

    Bookmark my new Plant-Based Emporium Facebook page for all my latest recipes.

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

  • Chris Hartley

    Interesting article

    “Evidence of prostate cancer, omega-3 link
    US scientists say they have confirmed a surprising 2011 study
    that found a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who consume
    omega-3 fatty acids, raising new questions about the safety of

    • Moonlight

      …but if you look at the data, you’ll see a number of flaws. This is not a causal link. Using the same logic, people who smoke and heavy drinkers are also more likely to develop PCa. Also, why do countries that traditionally consume a lot of fish not have increased incidence of PCa? Truly a rubbish study.

      • Person

        Correct and just FYI saying supplements cause this or that is fine but has little bearing on what the whole natural food from which the supplement is extracted or copied from does when consumed. Unhealthy chemical ridden food cannot be compared directly with the same food in its natural form – in the sense that if you add chemicals to anything it will cause any number of problems. Stop comparing apples to oranges….

  • MikeNewland

    Fantastic video about vegans etc living no longer and why on You Tube! So interesting the stages of the cascade into heart trouble. One needs to watch that lecture three times and take notes to grasp it all.

    May I ask a question on BPH? The idea seems to be to reduce conversion of testosterone into DHT – I think…..

    Flax seed lignans appears to be good for that and reduced average PSA lots in the small six month trial cited but betasitosterol as I understand it
    works the same way being also a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor. I think. Lots of trials on that.

    So are both together better yet?

    • MikeNewland

      I took betasitosterol 160mg a day for four months and could not see much effect. I then added 15 grams a day of flaxseed. After a month my average nocturia rate dropped from average 2.5 to around 1.2. Quite suddenly and it’s stayed down about two months now.

      I thought good prostate effect! But then I realised what was happening was that the flow at night from the kidneys had halved to a normal proportion of total daily flow. I conclude as a layman that this is an effect in normalising vasopressin secretion. Whatever the cause it’s a great result. I think it’s continued too long to be a placebo effect. I need less sleep.

      I read at that point the suggestion that betasitosterol should be taken on an empty stomach. I’d not seen that in the umpteen encouraging clinical trials about BPH. So I’m doing that (middle of night) but it’s a little too early to say whether it will get a result in substantially improving flow rate (which the trials reported).

      • MikeNewland

        Well I could not get any results with betasitosterol anywhichway but nothing works for everyone I understand.

        Flaxseed has continued to work in keeping down nocturia to once a night mostly. Quite a few months now. I take 15 g in the late evening.

        I can’t see any other explanation apart from the flaxseed. Unless it’s a coincidence. That would be a fluke.

  • apprin

    I was tested with a PSA of 11.1 and was having the typical lower back pain, urinary urgency with low volume, 3 – 4 bathroom trips per night, etc. I immediately went to a vegetarian (W/baked fish weekly) diet based upon cruciferous vegetables and within one year, PSA was 10.0, no lower back pain and no nightly bathroom trips and high volume with no urgency. I refuse needle biopsy, now proven to spread and worsen prostate cancer, and will go to Germany for transurethral hyperthermia if Color Power Doppler Scan reveals tumor(s). Why is American medical treatment (especially cancer) mired in the middle ages, except for the love of old money-generating procedures that are proven not to heal?

    • Thea

      apprin: Thanks for sharing your story. I think a story like this could be really helpful to someone who is trying to make decisions right now about their condition. Good luck.

      • apprin

        Thanks Thea … Am due for another PSA test. If symptoms (or lack thereof) are an indicator, My PSA will have fallen tremendously as nearly ALL symptoms have disappeared.

        • MikeNewland

          It’s a tiny select band who are willing to try things out like this and stick at it over a long period. Most people give up after a week and then complain it appears.
          It requires a scientist’s appetite for experiment and discovery does it not?

    • mark

      any update? did your psa drop again

  • Julia

    Does flax seeds really make your boobs grow?

    • MikeNewland

      No effect with this male!

  • Jeremiah

    Great video. I am assuming we should ingest flax seeds via ground form as opposed to pill form to see these kind of benefits?

    • KWD

      Jeremiah, Because ground flax easily turns rancid and whole flax seeds are relatively inexpensive, it’s best to grind fresh as you need it. If necessary, ground flax can be stored away from light in a sealed container in the refrigerator to help slow rancidity. I took a look to see how the flax was administered and in what form and in the second study listed in Dr. Greger’s citations for this video: – if you click on the link, you’ll see the full journal article…basically they administered fresh-ground flax in separate daily, opaque, sealed packets.

  • aviweiss

    Does this include plant-based fats, like avocado and nuts?

  • Rahnay Stuard

    Does the flax seed oil have any benefit? I use it on my salad

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      It will have more concentrated sources of omega-3’s and can be beneficial, but the oil goes rancid very fast. Make sure to refrigerate and only keep for a few weeks after opening.

  • basehitz

    After watching a number of videos from Dr Greger on flaxseed and it’s many benefits, I have for months been adding 3 heaping teaspoons ground flaxseed in with oatmeal. It even makes the oatmeal taste better.

    As far as the establishment medical community not bothering to do research on this proven remedy. . . is anyone surprised? Imagine how much it would cut into their revenue if many people could remedy their own prostate problems, or prevent it from happening in the first place. . . just by making their oatmeal taste better.

  • marko13

    per Dr G’s videos on flax and prostate I have been adding (2) 39cc scoops of flax seed, fresh ground, into my morning veggie/fruit smoothies for approx 1+ yrs daily. Also saw palmetto and cod liver oil. Also exercising 3x/wk..thought I was growing pectoral muscles but noticed the other day it’s more fatty tissue than muscle…ie i’m growing tits…dr says the estrogen in flax and fish oil and saw palmetto are likely culprits. Would Dr G be kind enuf to comment on this possible connection to gynecomastia. Mine is very subtle(so far) but i can ‘pinch an inch’. I have thrown away my flax seed and saw palmetto for now, not sure if I should dump the cod liver oil as well. any knowledgeable advice appreciated.

  • Freek Leffelaar

    Searching this website I didn’t find anything about Johanna Budwig and her curd with flax seed oil dietary treatment against cancer. I’m very curious about the view of Dr Michael Greger on this subject since it’s all about treating cancer with nutrition but in her diet there is dairy involved. Did her treatment actually work and how?

  • Glenn Westley

    The terrific book, How Not To Die, makes the great point that to get the benefits of flaxseed it needs to be ground up into powder form.
    Is the same true for sunflower kernels (which I’m particularly interested in) or for any other seed you may know of? Many thanks! Glenn

  • John L.

    What are the risks of consuming flax seeds, chia, turmeric, black cumin seeds and jiaogulan tea daily? Are there negative interactions between them?

  • otto9n9otto

    Flax seeds are effective against hormonal cancers such as those of the prostate because it lowers testosterone:

    Men who are healthy might want to reconsider flax seed supplementation if testosterone is a concern. Personally, two TBS of flax seed per day lowered my testosterone to undetectable levels, negatively affecting my sex life. My experience was similar to this blogger:

  • buttonhut

    If you cook with ground flax seed will the lignans be destroyed?

    • Thanks for your question.

      According to these three studies (1, 2, 3), it appears that ALA & lignan’s in flaxseed are pretty heat stable and therefore if you use them in cooking, you will still get most of its benefits.

      Hope this answer helps.

      • buttonhut

        Thank you!

  • Eric_1

    Few other studies (“Dietary Fat, Fatty Acids and Risk of Prostate Cancer in the NIHAARP
    Diet and Health Study” for example) teaches that there is a direct positive link between ALA (Omega 3 found in Flaxseed) consumption and Prostate cancer. How comes?

    • docbeccy

      There have been studies that link flax seed OIL the ALA type of oil whereas consumption of the ground up seeds have been found to be protective. Here is a link for further information.