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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Emily

What are lignans?

Lignans are an anticancer plant compound found in whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds.  Flaxseeds may contain up to 800 times more lignans than any other foods. Flaxseeds also give you the most bang for your buck at just $1 per pound in the bulk food section. Just a teaspoon a day can give you your daily dose, though I recommend one tablespoon per day in my Daily Dozen checklist. Make sure it is ground flaxseed or the nutrients may not be absorbed. 

Those who eat a plant-based diet will most likely consume more lignans on a daily basis than those eating a diet rich in animal products.

Lignans and Cancer

Lignans may reduce the risk of breast cancer along with prolonging the life of those living with breast cancer. Lignans may improve survival rate with breast cancer and cut mortality in half. 

Lignans found in flaxseeds may slow the growth of prostate cancer.  Studies have shown a decrease in PSA levels (biomarker of prostate cancer), decreased cell growth, and decreased cholesterol with daily flaxseed consumption.

The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

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