Flashback Friday: Can Flax Seeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer?

Flashback Friday: Can Flax Seeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer?
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Flax seed consumption may play a role in preventing and treating breast cancer by blocking the inflammatory effects of interleukin-1.

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I’ve previously discussed the role of dietary lignans in the reduction of breast cancer risk and improvement in breast cancer survival, based on studies like this that showed that women with breast cancer who ate the most lignans appeared to live longer, but lignans are found throughout the plant kingdom—seeds, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, berries—so how do we know lignans weren’t just a marker for the intake of unrefined plant foods? For example, those that eat lots of plants, vegetarians, have about 8 times the lignan intake of omnivores, and the one that ate the most plants, the vegan, was off the charts.

Well in a petri dish, lignans were shown to not only have direct anticancer growth activity against human breast cancer cells, but also prevent their migration, so it was finally put to the test. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of flaxseeds, the world’s most concentrated source of lignans, in breast cancer patients found that flax appears to have the potential to reduce human breast tumor growth in just a matter of weeks. So I started recommending ground flax seeds to breast cancer patients, but what about preventing breast cancer in the first place?

Similarly, high lignan intake was associated with reduced breast cancer risk, but maybe that’s just saying high plant food intake help in general. So they gave women at high risk for breast cancer a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds a day for a year, and they showed, on average, a drop in precancerous changes. But what about flax seeds and breast cancer itself? Outside of an experimental setting there just weren’t a lot of women eating flax seeds regularly to study, until now. Matching 3,000 women with breast cancer to 3,000 women without, they found consumption of flaxseed alone, and of flax bread, was associated with a 20–30% reduction in breast cancer risk.

As flaxseeds are packed with lignans, only a small daily serving of flaxseed is required to attain the level of lignan intake associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. As it appears that most women do not consume flaxseed and that small amounts may be associated with reduced breast cancer risk, we might want to consider interventions to increase the prevalence of flaxseed consumption.

The latest review summarized the association between flax and decreased risk of breast cancer in the first place, better mental health, and lower mortality among breast cancer patients. The only other study of flax and brain health I’m aware of was an exploration of 100 commonly used drugs and supplements on cognition in older adults, that found flax to be one of the few things that appeared to help.

In terms of why flaxseeds may play a role in preventing and treating breast cancer, there’s an inflammatory molecule called interleukin-1, which may help tumors feed, grow, and invade, so our body produces an interkeukin-1 receptor antagonist; it binds to the IL-1 receptor and blocks the action of IL-1. And the activity of this protective inhibitor can be boosted with the drug tamoxifen or by eating flax seeds. In premenopausal women, the pro-inflammatory profile of interleukin-1 could be counteracted by a dietary addition of a few spoonfuls of ground flax. One month of flax was able to increase the anti-inflammatory inhibitor levels by over 50%, better than even the drug.

Yes, having one’s ovaries removed may reduce breast cancer risk as much as 60%, but at the cost of severe side-effects. The drug tamoxifen may reduce the incidence of breast cancer by more than 40% but may induce other severe side effects such as uterine cancer and blood clots. That’s why less toxic, even safe, breast cancer preventive strategies such as diet modifications need to be developed, and these lignin phytoestrogens in flaxseeds may be one successful route because of very recent epidemiological data.

Now lignans are not a magic bullet to prevent breast cancer—you can’t just sprinkle some flax on your bacon cheeseburger—but as a part of a healthy diet and life-style they might help to reduce breast cancer risk in the general population.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Justin Snow via Flickr.

I’ve previously discussed the role of dietary lignans in the reduction of breast cancer risk and improvement in breast cancer survival, based on studies like this that showed that women with breast cancer who ate the most lignans appeared to live longer, but lignans are found throughout the plant kingdom—seeds, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, berries—so how do we know lignans weren’t just a marker for the intake of unrefined plant foods? For example, those that eat lots of plants, vegetarians, have about 8 times the lignan intake of omnivores, and the one that ate the most plants, the vegan, was off the charts.

Well in a petri dish, lignans were shown to not only have direct anticancer growth activity against human breast cancer cells, but also prevent their migration, so it was finally put to the test. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of flaxseeds, the world’s most concentrated source of lignans, in breast cancer patients found that flax appears to have the potential to reduce human breast tumor growth in just a matter of weeks. So I started recommending ground flax seeds to breast cancer patients, but what about preventing breast cancer in the first place?

Similarly, high lignan intake was associated with reduced breast cancer risk, but maybe that’s just saying high plant food intake help in general. So they gave women at high risk for breast cancer a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds a day for a year, and they showed, on average, a drop in precancerous changes. But what about flax seeds and breast cancer itself? Outside of an experimental setting there just weren’t a lot of women eating flax seeds regularly to study, until now. Matching 3,000 women with breast cancer to 3,000 women without, they found consumption of flaxseed alone, and of flax bread, was associated with a 20–30% reduction in breast cancer risk.

As flaxseeds are packed with lignans, only a small daily serving of flaxseed is required to attain the level of lignan intake associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. As it appears that most women do not consume flaxseed and that small amounts may be associated with reduced breast cancer risk, we might want to consider interventions to increase the prevalence of flaxseed consumption.

The latest review summarized the association between flax and decreased risk of breast cancer in the first place, better mental health, and lower mortality among breast cancer patients. The only other study of flax and brain health I’m aware of was an exploration of 100 commonly used drugs and supplements on cognition in older adults, that found flax to be one of the few things that appeared to help.

In terms of why flaxseeds may play a role in preventing and treating breast cancer, there’s an inflammatory molecule called interleukin-1, which may help tumors feed, grow, and invade, so our body produces an interkeukin-1 receptor antagonist; it binds to the IL-1 receptor and blocks the action of IL-1. And the activity of this protective inhibitor can be boosted with the drug tamoxifen or by eating flax seeds. In premenopausal women, the pro-inflammatory profile of interleukin-1 could be counteracted by a dietary addition of a few spoonfuls of ground flax. One month of flax was able to increase the anti-inflammatory inhibitor levels by over 50%, better than even the drug.

Yes, having one’s ovaries removed may reduce breast cancer risk as much as 60%, but at the cost of severe side-effects. The drug tamoxifen may reduce the incidence of breast cancer by more than 40% but may induce other severe side effects such as uterine cancer and blood clots. That’s why less toxic, even safe, breast cancer preventive strategies such as diet modifications need to be developed, and these lignin phytoestrogens in flaxseeds may be one successful route because of very recent epidemiological data.

Now lignans are not a magic bullet to prevent breast cancer—you can’t just sprinkle some flax on your bacon cheeseburger—but as a part of a healthy diet and life-style they might help to reduce breast cancer risk in the general population.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Justin Snow via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

The first half of the video is basically just a review of all the flax and breast cancer work I’ve already covered:

Flaxseeds may also help fight hormone-mediated cancers in men. See Flaxseed vs. Prostate Cancer and Was It the Flaxseed, Fat Restriction, or Both?

What else can these puppies do? See:

I have another 100+ videos on breast cancer if you want to become an expert and help take care of yourself and/or the women in your life. Here’s a few recent ones to get you started:

Since this video originally came out, I’ve got even more videos on flax. See them all here.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

131 responses to “Flashback Friday: Can Flax Seeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer?

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    1. Glad you think the muffin looks enticing! We do not have a recipe for it but as others have mentioned you can find many online :)

    1. S,

      That is exciting.

      With the Duckweed, Dr Greger said that these things need to be tested to see if they always have B12 and how bioavailable it is, but it is cool that they are finding foods that might help.

      1. Deb,

        That makes sense. I really hope they’re working on it and come to a concussion soon. Could you imagine being able to see whole dried duckweed capsules for B12, or be able to grow our own B12 rich greens? Sounds like Eden.

      1. Thanks for the link!! That answers all my questions. I really hope getting together the means to research is in the works.

        “While it’s common for aquatic plants to be contaminated with bacteria that can produce vitamin B12, these researchers suggested that bacteria inside the plant are producing vitamin B12 (1, 3), which is a unique finding. But we don’t know if all duckweed contains these bacteria.”

        That would be so incredible… a plant with B12 producing bacteria inside. If there is a millionaire out there reading, please consider funding this research.

    1. I’m not sure if you are asking if one should avoid flax with a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis or use it in hopes it will reduce risks. I suspect the answer would be that while flax is beneficial for a variety of conditions and there seems to be no reason to avoid it, at least based on the studies I reviewed. However, those same studies did not seem to promise the same potential benefits for those with triple negative breast cancer, possible because because flax seems to demonstrate benefits based on effects involving estrogen reception. This is complex, but perhaps this article will be helpful:

      Cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/understanding-a-breast-cancer-diagnosis/breast-cancer-hormone-receptor-status.html
      Breast Cancer Hormone Receptor Status “Triple-negative breast cancer cells don’t have estrogen or progesterone receptors and also don’t make too much of the protein called HER2. …. Because the cancer cells don’t have hormone receptors, hormone therapy is not helpful in treating these cancers. And because they don’t have too much HER2, drugs that target HER2 aren’t helpful, either.”. Again this is complex and I don’t think we have all the answers, although it appears some of the ways flax benefits hormone-positive cancer treatment may not be as effective in hormone-negative cancers. You may want to research further with specialized cancer treatment providers. .

  1. I add flax seeds to a frozen dessert I make. Does grinding these in a Vita Mix and then freezing them destroy its nutritional value?

    1. kirby, I dont’ see how freezing could possibly destroy them. But as for grinding, not only does grinding absolutely not destroy the nutrients in flax, but it’s necessary in order to make them bioavailable in the first place. If you consume flax whole, you do not absorb anything from them–their shell is so hard that it just passes right through you.

  2. I searched google for that photo and it’s used on several websites.

    Here is a recipe with the photo that might be for real: https://www.flickr.com/photos/justinandelise/4333129253

    Here is a recipe that also uses the photo but it clearly has no pumpkin seed in it. I think it has too much flax seed ….which would teach us to not eat more than one! It makes me wonder if the recipe is a gag, no pun intended: https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Flaxseed-Muffins-1656951

    1. Betty,

      You have search skills beyond my meager ones.

      Sadly, the recipe is not vegan. I could adapt it, or look for a vegan version. They’re all just variations on a basic theme, I think. I also look for oil free ones, and sweeteners from more unprocessed ingredients (eg, applesauce) if possible.

      And I don’t understand why Americans add salt to sweet baked desserts. I have European friends who puzzle over this same question, because they don’t.

      1. The reason salt is used in sweet baked desserts is not to add a salty taste, it is used because it enhances the flavors of the other ingredients in the dessert, thus making a more lively taste, which surely increases the desire for second and third helpings!

        Using salted butter is fairly common, therefore, some folks are baking with salt even if they don’t add salt to the recipe.

        1. I never miss the addition of added salt to baked sweets. I’m not sure a pinch would even do anything flavor-wise, anyway. They should blind taste-test that, it would be interesting to see if anyone could tell the difference.

    2. Betty,

      Nice work! I don’t think you need to worry about too much flax. I’ve been taking a minimum of 2 heaping tbsp of ground flax every single day for consecutive years. I even had my blood checked for a number of things, including cyanide, a few years ago, and I had zero issues. There’s even an oat/bean recipe on this site that uses 3 tbsp of flax. Dr. Gerger used to recommend 2 tbsp per day every single day. But because they only tested 1 tbsp, he’s playing it safe by the amount they used in the test so now sticks to 1/day recommendation.

      In the recipe you posted, brown sugar could easily be replaced by date sugar. The egg, as with all baking, can easily be replaced with a flax or chia egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water sat in fridge for 15 mins = 1 flax egg… I’m not sure if using a tbsp of ground chia would have a different sit time, but I think it’s the same). The buttermilk could easily be replaced by plant milk. The oil could be replaced by applesauce, banana, pureed pumpkin or squash, avocado, etc. there’s lots of things that can replace oil in baking but I don’t have a ton of experience–there are sites that explain the preferred replacement for the type of outcome you want, though. And the salt is just a stupid addition that can be omitted–it doesn’t do anything for the baking and it doesn’t have a significant, if any, impact on flavor.

      1. “There is such a thing as too much fiber!”

        Where are you getting that from? I think you would have to eat a tree to get too much fiber in a day… There are videos on here showing that 100g of fiber a day may be optimal and closer to what our ancestors got.

        1. My comments were regarding the recipe in the second link of my first post, which includes 3 cups of flax seed and makes 4 muffins. That recipe must be a joke.

          One of those muffins contains 3/4 cup of flax seed which is an excessive amount of fiber.

            1. Still, we can’t say that there’s such thing as getting too much fiber as there’s no known upper limit. I would imagine that eating that much fiber at once would keep you extremely full for a long time, anyway, so you probably wouldn’t get much more in the rest of the day.

              “No tolerable upper intake level has been set for dietary fiber (2). However, the IOM suggested that there may be a need for a tolerable upper intake level in the future if supplements or foods with added functional fiber were to become ubiquitous. Very high levels of consumption could lead to reductions in the absorption of some minerals. Yet, it is not thought that this could create mineral deficiencies in areas where diets are not limiting in minerals.”

              This was interesting, too: “The current DRI value is an adequate intake level and is based on the decreased risk of coronary heart disease with dietary fiber consumption”

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065764/

    1. Susan,

      Dr. Greger used to recommend 2 tbsp per day. He switched his recommendation to 1, not because it’s been shown that more than that is too much, but simply because the study testing its steady use only tested 1tbsp daily which showed it is a perfectly safe food to consume, it did not show that more was too much as it did not test for that.

      I have been taking 2 heaping tbsp/day since I first heard Dr. Greger’s recommendation in his old lecture and it’s done amazing things for me. I used to sometimes have more and worried about the cyanide, so when I got my blood tested for a number of things, I made sure cyanide was on the list. But my test results showed zero issues with that or any of the metals, etc. I had it tested for. There is also a recipe on this site from not that long ago (it’s an oats/bean recipe) that uses 3 tbsp of flax in the recipe which serves 1, I believe.

    2. Perhaps you might want to cut back on the flax. According to one conversion chart I reviewed, 1 oz of whole flax seeds is equal to 1 ounce=3..04 tablespoons I’m assuming you are using ground flaxseeds, as recommended. You might want to grind up 1 oz of whole seeds to see how much ground seeds result and adjust accordingly. (this may be on your pkg)

      The research seems clear that you could take in much more than 1 oz without negative effects: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567199/
      “It is important to recognize that no definitive scientific data have been produced to support the concept of toxicity from dietary flaxseed …”

      However it’s prudent to be aware that cyanide could be a potential hazard, which is why there is some concern about cyanide with massive amounts.humans would need to consume the unrealistic amount of 1 kg of flaxseed daily for cyanide toxicity to ever manifest itself. which is why Dr. Greger states in ,
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-we-be-concerned-about-the-cyanide-from-flaxseed/ “The average American should stick to under 1.5 tablespoons a day if you’re going to eat them every day.”
      Hope this is helpful

    1. Missy,

      You could look at the sources cited in the video; the one I skimmed reported results from tissue samples or cultured breast biopsy tissues after consumption of estradiol, tamoxifen, or “diet modification” [added flaxseed], so it wasn’t a clinical study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22930784

      You could also research your question online. But I think if there were clinical studies available, they would have been cited in the video. The transcript states: “That’s why less toxic, even safe, breast cancer preventive strategies such as diet modifications need to be developed, and these lignin phytoestrogens in flaxseeds may be one successful route because of very recent epidemiological data.” Suggesting the lack of further studies.

  3. Hi Missy, thanks for your question. Please consult your Dr for medical decisions. In this video Dr Greger explains in a study that used flax seed and how it works. “In terms of why flaxseeds may play a role in preventing and treating breast cancer, there’s an inflammatory molecule called interleukin-1, which may help tumors feed, grow, and invade, so our body produces an interkeukin-1 receptor antagonist; it binds to the IL-1 receptor and blocks the action of IL-1. And the activity of this protective inhibitor can be boosted with the drug tamoxifen or by eating flax seeds. In premenopausal women, the pro-inflammatory profile of interleukin-1 could be counteracted by a dietary addition of a few spoonfuls of ground flax. One month of flax was able to increase the anti-inflammatory inhibitor levels by over 50%, better than even the drug. Having one’s ovaries removed may reduce breast cancer risk as much as 60%, but at the cost of severe side-effects. The drug tamoxifen may reduce the incidence of breast cancer by more than 40% but may induce other severe side effects such as uterine cancer and blood clots. That’s why less toxic, even safe, breast cancer preventive strategies such as diet modifications need to be developed, and these lignin phytoestrogens in flaxseeds may be one successful route because of very recent epidemiological data.

    Now lignin’s are not a magic bullet to prevent breast cancer—you can’t just sprinkle some flax on your bacon cheeseburger—but as a part of a healthy diet and life-style they might help to reduce breast cancer risk in the general population”.
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-can-flax-seeds-help-prevent-breast-cancer/#comment-601041

    In this review paper they looked at a few animal studies. In a few animal studies found that the intake of flaxseed combined with tamoxifen can reduce tumor size to a greater extent than taking tamoxifen alone. Additionally, some clinical trials showed that flaxseed can have an important role in decreasing breast cancer risk, mainly in postmenopausal women. Further studies are needed, specifically clinical trials that may demonstrate the potential benefits of flaxseed in breast cancer. I hope these information are useful to you.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808339/

      1. Flax oil is not shelf-stable. So it degrades quickly. To make sure you’re getting even the full benefits of the ALA omega-3’s in flax, you should consume ground flax.

        Easy to grind in a cheap coffee grinder. I grind a bunch and keep it in an airtight jar in my fridge.

  4. Another food that works as well as tamoxifen is soy. Dr. Kristi Funk, breast cancer surgeon, has discussed this in her interviews about soy and breast cancer.

    1. Deb,

      Your article was conjectural: smoking marijuana might increase your risk of complications from the coronavirus. There was no actual evidence that it does.

      And since it only mentioned smoking or vaping, I’m guessing that the preferred route of consumption would be ingestion — edibles. I didn’t see that mentioned in the article; I wonder why not.

          1. One said that most data exist on smoking combusted cannabis, which is associated with various adverse respiratory system outcomes (e.g., bronchitis, lung function).

            They added that vaporizing natural cannabis and ingesting edibles appear to reduce respiratory system problems, but may come with other risks and I haven’t found a study talking about those risks yet.

            They also said that vaporizing cannabis concentrates can result in distinct acute risks (e.g., excessive impairment, injuries).

  5. Hello everyone. Thank you so much for your detailed responses to my question. I really appreciate it and all you do. Bless you.

  6. Another way to prevent recurrence of breast cancer is by different types of fasting.

    One study just fasting overnight for more hours than most people do- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4982776/

    Another fasting during treatment- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6530042/

    A study on using autophagy (body disposing of damaged cells), induced by intermittent fasting as an additional cancer therapy.
    Scroll down to the end of the article for the takeaway. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6257056/

    1. Always appreciate you, Marilyn.

      I have been thinking of you and hope things are going well with you. I know this is such a challenging time.

      My family is waiting to find out about my brother. They didn’t have any rapid tests so we won’t hear before Monday.

      1. Will be praying for your brother Deb, and you too. That is very difficult.
        One of my sons has an essential job, so he is still working and is taking this too lightly, so I worry.
        Locally we have switched to TeleCare, which is best for everyone.
        Happy Easter Deb, He is Risen, :) and we will also.

        1. Oh Marilyn, I am praying for essential workers. Most of my family fall into that category. My friend’s family has a two year old hospitalized they think with it and they think they all have it but it is hard to get tested. The child will be tested and if he us positive the rest will pretty much know they have it.

          I started watching worship videos on YouTube and some of them were so sweet.

          One had people from so many countries singing together with flags showing which country they are from.

          It was such genuinely sweet unity.

          He is risen indeed.

          God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace.

          1. I am wondering if they make the parents leave the two year old?

            I didn’t ask but I know they aren’t getting family be there generally.

    1. You can’t tolerate the taste, or you have a bad reaction?

      It tastes great in baked goods as an egg replacer (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water sat for 15 mins in fridge = 1 egg). I don’t personally like the taste sprinkled on food like oats, like some people do, so I just put it in a smoothie or even just stir 2 tbsp ground flax in water and drink it quickly–I say quickly because the longer you let it sit the thicker it will get, but at first it isn’t thick at all.

        1. halheinrich,

          This may be good news! What it sounds like it could very likely be, is a matter of your microbiome needing time to adjust. I would suggest you try incorporating small amounts of flax and gradually increase. You might have to deal with the intestinal discomfort a little before you see if it goes away. A lot of people report exactly what you’re describing who start eating more fiber than they’re used to and it’s a case of their microbiome. Dr. Greger has talked about this in at least one interview. It’s actually why he recommends people who are used to a diet of refined foods and animal products, to gradually increase more and more plant foods so that your body adjusts. Not that you have to, but it’s a way to avoid the issues of not having the adjusted microbiome to a diet of lots of whole plant foods.

          And I personally think that it’s worth a try considering how incredible flax is for you. If you were a loved one of mine, I would urge you to try.

    2. Halheinrich,

      Sesame would be the next closest source but flaxseed is 85 versus 11 for sesame per ounce.

      I agree that having it in things, even oatmeal or Marys Gone Crackers or Crispbreads or Ezekiel bread or Ezekiel cereal or made into a flax egg all might be examples of ways to get it in.

    3. Halheinrich- It looks like you’ve received some good comments on alternate sources of lignans such as sesame seeds (or try chia seeds) or having them in crackers, using flax flour (meal) or simply gradually letting your body adjust so you might tolerate the flax better. Hope all these suggestions will allow you to
      get the important benefits of lignans.

    1. Barb,

      Yes, I saw that and I have been keeping the heat over 63 at all times to not make it easy on the virus. I have been drinking higher alkaline water for the same reason.

      Not very scientific but I noticed that the virus can have up to a month incubation and I had a theory that making it harder on the virus seems like a good idea.

      I wonder if as part of that virus cold belt is related to Vitamin D.

      I found one county that didn’t have the racial bias in deaths. I think it was in California where people might be getting more sun.

      It might be that there were fewer black essential workers or it really could be that black people in other places either have a more affectionate culture or it could be real racial bias when deciding who does.

      Whole countries the deaths are skewed toward darker akin, males, and elderly.

      But there is now a place where Native Americans have none, Asians have some, Blacks more, but whites we’re 68% Deaths.

  7. I am at home and haven’t dared watch too many videos because I am going to end up running out of data a week early, but I saw that a few of my COVID sites have new videos.

    I was thinking about it today and if my brother has it, I will mention the dog heartworm meds and I know that may not be a good idea but dogs are lower weight and it seems safe enough to try.

    I believe in the right to try concept in a pandemic and enough people around us have dogs that he could get his hands on it.

    I know that sounds irresponsible even but he has high risk factors and I am thinking through what I will say next week.

    The experimental meds aren’t available everywhere but dog heartworm pills are in our cabinets.

    I don’t want him to die.

    1. I already have Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Lysine sitting out for workers to take.

      And nutritional yeast and mushroom powder and brewer’s yeast if they like those better.

      He definitely has taken Zinc and I got the Vitamin C citrus drops because my whole workforce eats them all day long.

      I almost let them run low and there was a panic in the troops because they are like candy.

      1. Hopefully your supplements are doing something for you . I however would add raw garlic , slice one clove section thinly , take a piece of whole grain bread add a nice layer of humus sprinkle garlic powder and nutritional yeast , add the garlic ,fold the bread in half and eat that . Makes a pretty good garlic bread .
        Don,t worry if you are not able to chew it well because of the heat from the raw garlic , just swallow lol.
        It gives almost an immediate sense of well being .
        will take a mild fever down
        eases a sore throat
        seems to reduce congestion in the chest
        one clove a day does not seem to create very much bad breath, twice a day slightly noticeable
        Oh yea most people have found it enjoyable BTW .
        I am sure it is not a cure for corona virus ,but it has many health benefits as per this website.

        1. Thanks, mrpinkerton.

          I have been having garlic hummus every day as my comfort food.

          Plus, the nutritional yeast.

          Trying a little bit of everything.

          Having workers test positive ramps things up.

  8. I look forward to the day testing is available for most, especially the antibody test.
    Well, I am in perfect corona weather zone but looking forward to hotter weather to come. Also, I have been opening windows to keep fresh air circulating and have been out walking in the sun about 90 min/day. If I wasn’t able to do that I’d probably double up on vit D.

    1. Yeah.

      I was looking at what the doctors are giving patients who have it and Thiamine (which is in flaxseed) is on the “Full Monty” list.

      D, C, Zinc are on all the lists.

      Melatonin is listed (2 pistachios = a dose of Melatonin if I remember Dr. Greger’s video properly)

      Magnesium enough to not be deficient is also on the “Full Monty” list.

      1. The wealthy people who have their private bunkers added to those:

        Arginine, Citrulline, Lysine, and Glutathione

        I looked up the logic of everything and Nitric Oxide is the logic for Arginine and Citrulline.

        A writer said that, for people who want to increase the levels quickly pre-infection they recommended supplementation with arginine and/or citrulline, two amino acids you can buy over-the-counter

        The person said that arginine is the only precursor to NO, meaning NO doesn’t get created in the body except via the transformation of arginine and that there are studies that have shown that increasing arginine does increase NO, and also improves immune function, and that we put a lot of people on arginine before their surgeries to reduce the risk of wound infections — what we call “immunonutrition.”

        However, arginine is poorly absorbed by the body, whereas citrulline is much more readily absorbed and serves as a precursor for arginine. In fact, some 60% or so of the NO created by the body is thought to come from citrulline.

        But we can increase NO with Plant Food.

        Beets, garlic, watermelon, pomegranate, citrus, nuts and seeds, etc.

        https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nitric-oxide-foods#section6

        I think I get enough of those. I eat citrus and pomegranate every single day.

        I did finally buy some beet powder because of this. I still can’t get myself to face the beet mess. Someday.

        The glutathione had an interesting sentence explaining that low vitamin D3 levels have also been correlated with low glutathione and that when glutathione levels are low, vitamin D3 doesn’t work as efficiently.

        But glutathione is from things like cruciferous and mushrooms and garlic and onions and tomatoes and brazil nuts and whole grains. Seems like most of us will have enough of that.

        1. I have decided to do Nattokinase this week.

          I laugh that I had gotten rid of all of my supplements and now some of them are back.

          Mostly, blood clots in the lungs are one cause of one type of lung problem and I decided that dissolving them ahead of time seems like a strategy.

          Nobody is recommending that, but they are pointing to blood clots in the lungs as causing one type of lung problems and my brother might be testing positive this week.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372539/

          Medcram talks about 2 of the lung issues from Italy.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8aG63yigjA

          1. Deb, just a cautionary note… when I was reading your link about natto, I came across this item among the references.
            Micro bleeds (brain) in a woman who was taking baby aspirin, and a very small amount of natto per day.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18310985
            This is something to be very careful of. In my own experience, just eating wfpb is blood thinning enough… sometimes too much so if I add in spice powders, omega 3, eating my usual tomato based dishes etc. Dr Esselstyn has people consuming huge amounts of greens for NO production… no beets necessary if you don’t care for them.

        2. Deb, remember that arginine competes for absorption with lysine, so taking them at the same time is counter-productive.
          For glutathione, as far as I know studies show it is broken down by the gut, so taking it by mouth would not be effective.
          Don’t get much from food, the body makes it from other amino acids. It gets depleted when you are sick.
          But you can raise levels by taking NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) with an equal amount of vitamin C. I prescribe 500mg. NAC plus 500 C taken 2-3 times a day on an empty stomach. Adding Glycine will raise glutathione further.
          It’s what we do for people with cystic fibrosis, asthma, and COPD. Helps them more easily clear their lungs also.
          Btw, it’s probably the cysteine in chicken soup that makes it effective for viral disease.
          (And I’m awaiting the screams of where are the studies, (they can look them up), and we don’t believe in supplements.) :)

          1. Marilyn,

            Thank you so much.

            That is so helpful!

            I will add some NAC and Glycine to my counter.

            Laughing at the studies part.

            I bought the C, D, Zinc and Lysine and prayed that I wasn’t accidentally taking Viagra and Prozac.

            I did choose brands that I have a trust for, but it isn’t easy to get the brands I normally use.

  9. I wonder if patients who test positive have the right to ask for ivermectin.

    Many patients in NY were just sent home to die and others died in the waiting room.

    I would be volunteering to take something like ivermectin and go home and sleep on my stomach to open my lungs if I had to.

    1. I started to watch the dr vuong video, but didn’t catch all that they said about the ivermectin. Not sure what rights we have in those circumstances. I have ivermectin here, but probably not enough for a dose for a person of my weight.
      Don’t worry Deb. You’ve done a really great job so far with shopping for supplies, cleaning, organizing schedules and safe distancing, educating family and employees, and attending a webinar! And you have a couple of years worth of eating loads of veggies! If anyone is prepared, you are!

      1. Barb,

        Thanks, you are so sweet.

        Yes, I have been running this like a marathon.

        Still don’t feel tired even looking at it.

        Still passionate.

        I just do know that it is life and death and that the people around me haven’t been eating WFPB and have comorbidities and they aren’t following it and wouldn’t be social distancing.

        As far as the dose, they don’t know that part yet, but it lowered the virus by 5000 times and it messed up the MRNA within 48 hours so the virus wasn’t being replicated, so it would seem possible that any dose would maybe slow the viral load and viral replication. There probably are guidelines for dose online because they give it to people who have parasites and to dogs. I wouldn’t give it to a child, but a dog’s dose to a human is something I would play with to slow it down if I was told that I had to wait a week for the test results.

        Best still would be to socially distance enough to never get it but I have worked so hard at this process and was able to buy Lysol and Clorox wipes and sprays and N100 masks and gloves and people who are not socializing at all still got it.

        I really am going to do the Natto for a week, too. I read an article about the people using clot busters for their dying patients and I want the peace of mind to know that if I had any clots they will be gone or smaller.

        The blood clots may be a big factor in who dies is what some hospitals have said.

      2. Barb,

        This is so different than any other medical situation.

        They are doing studies on convalescent plasma and a month from now that may be easy to get.

        The meds and tests they run low on.

        I watched the video from NY where the doctors talked about people dying in the waiting rooms or being sent home and dying and I already know someone that happened to.

        Tests taking a week and people dying in a week make it that the burden of being informed and making our decisions ahead of time is on us.

        In my state, if I go to the wrong hospital, I won’t get convalescent plasma.

        If I don’t get tested within 4 days of my symptoms, I won’t get into the med trials.

        My brother already will miss the ability to get into the trials because he couldn’t get the rapid test and he couldn’t get any test the first day he went because they run out every day, so the available drug studies will be closed to him and I already know that his doctor isn’t in the hospital that plans to do convalescent plasma.

        And I already told him which hospital has it but he is binge-watching Netflix or something and I am binge-watching the latest COVID information.

        It would be so easy to make a mistake and die with this.

        Some hospitals had 2000 tests others do 40 per day. Go to the wrong one and you may have to try several days in a row.

        Very easy to make a mistake.

  10. Today was the first day that the money part came up three or foUr times.

    Hospitals keeping their power on, social security, Warren Buffet dumping stocks and a few other magic money might cause society to want us to take our dog worm pills and get back to work soon.

    I always hate magic money.

      1. Oh yeah and Walmart sold enough toilet paper in 5 days to give a roll of toilet paper to every American and the shelves are still empty.

  11. Within a few weeks the pressure to just let the old black men die so we don’t have the old white billionaires jump off bridges is going to come soon.

  12. Let’s see, do the herd animals get Ivermectin, too? Could we speed things up without causing a stampede?

    Nope.

    Toilet paper logic rules in herd immunity scenarios.

  13. I, for one, have really liked the magic money.

    I have watched Trump every day and find his ability to find magic money so comforting.

    But there is a big chance he is going to crack into pieces from the stress of it soon and suddenly heard immunity will become the way to go.

  14. Trump staying positive has stopped the complete free fall of the stock market.

    Warren Buffet panicking might cause a toilet paper fiasco.

      1. Darwin,

        That is fascinating.

        Is he giving his money away like the Twitter guy or is he bailing on the economy out of fear of being not quite as wealthy. Hmmmm?

        I respect when socialists start with their own money.

        I am not picking on him. I am a business person who is morally grappling with whether to shore up our payroll with the “free grant/loan” that the government is giving away.

        We don’t need it right now and I just don’t understand the concepts that we can pay everybody to stay home and also pay all the businesses to stay open and also pay for all of this medical care and talking to people who are renting out property, they already have people not paying and they are offering me free money from multiple sides but if I don’t think we will need it in the future, I just like not being in debt and not costing society extra.

        I know that sounds stupid right now. There are a few ways I could get free money from the government right now and I keep looking to see whose pocket will they will be pickpocketing the money they give to me from. Somebody, somewhere is going to pay. The WHO seems like one organization that will likely be paying some. Social security? Yikes.

        I am also aware that if the economy crashes and I didn’t take the money, I will have let my workers down, but I feel like you have to pause and grapple with things and try to think it through and not exploit the system.

        1. Deb, Regarding your comment: ” I just don’t understand the concepts that we can pay everybody to stay home … Somebody, somewhere is going to pay.”

          I know what you mean. I don’t understand it either. If we’re not paying for the stuff we get, then that means that the workers who produce it are not getting paid for their work. Isn’t that the very definition of slavery! Hmm, something doesn’t add up.

          1. Laughing.

            Yes. Perhaps.

            Actually, I have been pleasantly amazed that we haven’t already started having the financial panic at the level I expected. I know that the government giving money to businesses, individuals, and giving easy to get unemployment and getting people’s mortgage companies to add the money to the end are all things that have helped. Plus, Amazon hired 100,000 people and they are paying them very well. The two delivery people I know personally are getting $18 to start, but they are getting time and a half every week. Amazon must be making a fortune to be able to give free very fast shipping to their customers and then pay time and a half to their delivery people.

            I hate though that the USA is so political.

            Trump has throughout his presidency said things that have driven me crazy, but the concept of making him a scapegoat when I know that he has been only getting 4 hours a night sleep for months and has done so much of it better than expected. People are trying to exalt Cuomo, who I know has been also under the gun, but he didn’t even want his state closed down way after it was an epidemic and he rationed ventilators and did all sorts of mistakes, but they are politicians, not doctors and they also have the impossible financial end of things. NY politicians told people to keep gathering long after Trump said not to. But it is just all politics.

            I was looking at the press against the Lupus drug which I think is mostly them wanting to say Trump did every single thing wrong, but I found this interview with a doctor whose practice is with Lupus patients in California and only 1 of them tested positive and that person who tested positive wasn’t good at taking their medicine. No, it isn’t a randomized control study, but it was over 800 Lupus patients in an area where COVID has been strong in the USA. I know that I am not political and in fact I am anti-political.

            I just want to hear whatever useful things I can hear from each side, but I have watched Trump’s press conferences and I love Fauci and I have been amazed at how positive and encouraging Trump has been. Yes, sometimes ridiculous comments come out of his mouth and sometimes he pats himself on the back a little too hard, but I have loved listening to all of the things that they are doing and I would say the same thing about Cuomo and what I know is that we would have already had such a great big stock market crash on top of everything else.

            Yes, the funding of prevention needed to be better.

            The concept of having a stockpile of N95 masks wouldn’t have worked because they rot, and because it really is like the toilet paper situation where suddenly every single person in every hospital in the whole world needs to be wearing them 24/7. The new strategies will help us for next time and by next time the American people will each have a mask themselves and will know the drill.

            And the next president might stop the planes the first week.

            But the schools and the sports and every single other leader ALSO made the same mistakes that we will put on Trump, except for the doctors like Dr. Greger and Dr. McDougall, but if Trump was listening to Dr. Popper, we still wouldn’t have closed down and he would be hated rivaling Nixon. (Who the World Book Encyclopedia of the time said was hated more than Hitler even though Nixon didn’t even know what the people had been planning with the break-in, he just covered it up when he finally found out, but still, Americans often hate long and hard when we hate someone and we never admit the good things they did for the rest of our lives.) I have an infamous relative and so does my best friend and our relatives never ever ever ever got forgiven and they have been dead for so long but even history is political spin.

        1. Barb,
          I watched it again. My take away, the second time around, is that fat can be our friend when it comes to pulling off survival in the bush. If one has to hoof it (forage) for a living, stored energy (fat) is a fuel reserve that gives us an extended boundary for survival. So, being fat, on the run in the bush, is a sucess story. Other take aways are, 1. There is a caloric consumtion set point in the hypothalamus and it determines your eating behavior. 2. Trying to adjust this set point with a restrictive diet can make things worse because the hypothalamus detects starvation and can adjust the set point higher. 3. Exercise helps. 4. Adopting a long range healthy living lifestyle helps.

        1. Dan,

          Yes, it is a sign of the times.

          Vegan has suddenly become mainstream.

          I watched a television doctor recommending that COVID was a good opportunity to eat veggie burgers and to try to institute at least one meat-free day per week.

          The latest just from the past month is that people are switching from Keto – the erection scene from Game Changers is the single most effective scene in vegan documentary history.

          No, the article didn’t say that. It did say that people are home and they are binge-watching things and Game Changers is one of the things that is on the hot to watch list.

          1. I was looking at the plexiglass protective cases they are using now for when the doctors intubate patients and that will change the future.

            https://www.connecticutmag.com/the-connecticut-story/ct-companies-building-intubation-boxes-for-hospitals/article_751d5ffc-7b5e-11ea-a599-63f9313dc11b.html

            I think we will have learned a lot collectively – all around the world.

            Dr. Klaper talked about the places where the weather is getting cold are now getting more cases, while the places where the weather is getting warmer are slowly slowing down. He thinks we will have this come back in the Fall and Winter. So keep your masks and make sure you get toilet paper during the Summer.

          2. Now is the time to watch Game Changers to keep it in the hot picks for this time period.

            It is also a good time just to Google Vegan or Whole Food Plant-Based or Plant-based every day.

            Every food company in America uses that data.

            America’s Test Kitchen, the other day, said, “We have gotten the message that you want to see more animal-free recipes.”

            Now is the time to send that message everywhere.

            That is what helps the most.

  15. I just got semi-good news. The 2 year old doesn’t have COVID.

    Still the poor thing us hospitalized during a pandemic and is sick but not COVID.

  16. I have brought this up in the past.
    Flaxseed mimics Tamoxifen in its protective effect on breast cancer. However, Tamoxifen increases the risk of endometrial cancer. What studies have been done about the effect of flaxseed in the development of endometrial cancer?

      1. Soy intake had a 50% decreased risk of endometrial cancer. That is pretty good.

        This is actually a very important topic these weeks.

        There was an article that women with breast cancer have to delay things like chemotherapy.

        Someone could be making flaxseed muffins for their loved ones.

    1. Jacob,

      Please see Mr. Fumblefingers comments and then take a quick read of https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2761755/, and yes the results are isolated to lean women and those with a specific waist to hip ratios……Then on to https://flaxcouncil.ca/abstract/phytoestrogen-intake-and-endometrial-cancer-risk/ It’s from an industry source quoting other studies….For a good explanation of the ligand effects that explain both the estrogenic and non-estrogenic responses see: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/lignans. In terms of receptor blockage, there are similarities but that’s where the buck stops.

      Regarding the tamoxifen correlation, think in terms of the difference regarding the blocking of the receptors with the weak estrogenic chemistry of flax vs the mechanisms of action of this drug which is quite different in terms of its effects. For a really good review of its mechanism of action see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK12522/ with a short quote below.

      The key is that tamoxifen: “It has both estrogenic and antiestrogenic actions, depending on the target tissue. It is strongly antiestrogenic on mammary epithelium, hence its use in both the prevention and treatment of breast cancer; it is proestrogenic on uterine epithelium, hence the current controversy regarding its safety in cancer prevention, especially since an increased incidence of endometrial carcinoma has been found in women treated chronically with tamoxifen.. It is therefore inappropriate to refer to tamoxifen simply as an antiestrogen.”

      Hence let’s explore the use of flax as its substantially different for example in the formation of dvt’s. Its’ the opposite vs tamoxifen. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19569248 vs https://integrativeoncology-essentials.com/2019/11/reduce-your-risk-of-blood-clots-dvt-and-pe/

      So, although tamoxifen was mentioned it’s quite a different situation and should only be weakly associated with the positive effects of flax.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  17. The Atlantic had an article today comparing San Francisco, which shut down after 50 cases versus NY which didn’t shut down until they had over 10,000 cases in 5 buroughs.

    They said that the California cases were coming from China and that the NY cases were coming from Europe and Trump closes air travel from China very early and waited longer to close air travel from Europe. (Though he did do it is what I say to the people to just can’t give him credit for anything at all even though all of the government – every senator and house person was focused on impeachment hearings followed by election primaries and there wasn’t any government person who was up to speed and neither was the WHO who delayed calling it a pandemic. Sorry, I just don’t like that there are headlines blaming everything on Trump when it just plain takes time to close down a nation which has states’ rights.)

    Anyway, NY blowing it as big as they did only took a few days of indecision.

    1. Deb, Regarding your comment: “Sorry, I just don’t like that there are headlines blaming everything on Trump when it just plain takes time to close down a nation which has states’ rights.”

      Yes, Trump followed the Constitution in leaving actions up to the States. The Bill of Rights Amendment #10 to the Constitution was written to prevent Dictatorships!
      Quote:
      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      When I went to school, there was a mandatory class called Civics, where we were taught about the US Constitution. I doubt that it is still done today. I have a hunch that most Americans have never even read the Constitution, including a lot of congressional and other elected politicians.

  18. Dr Greger did a good video for the Swine Flu for the Humane Society and what I know is that I am not singing Happy Birthday enough if he was right back then.

    If I get through in the 2 hour Q&A it would be

    How many times are we supposed to sing Happy Birthday during hand washing?

  19. Daphne Mason
    May 7, 2020, 5:27:18 PM EDT

    What does Dr Greger suggest for individuals that have high lipoprotein a?
    Lp a is associated I believe with heart attacks and strokes.

  20. Re ground flax seed: I have both your books, have been mostly vegan and some vegetarian for about four months, and just had a colonoscopy and endoscopy (due to anemia) that showed I have diverticulae, both small-mouth and large-mouth thruoghout my colon. Is it safe for me to continue using ground flax seed in my cereal and smoothies every day? I know you wrote in your book that seeds and nuts are okay, but ground flax seed is SO small I am wondering if they will get caught in the diverticulae and cause problems or infections?

    1. Hello Sue,

      The research that I’m aware of does not raise any concerns about flax and diverticular disease, and actually promotes it as a potentially beneficial food. For your health condition in particular, you should speak with your healthcare provider.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

  21. Hi, are there any men here who’ve had trouble with flax seeds in terms of formation of breast tissue after consuming them?

    Around the end of December/start of January I began consuming about 2-3 table spoons of flax seeds per day. After doing this for about 2 months I started to feel sharp pain when I touched around the nipples area and I noticed that there was a formation of a hard tissue under the surface on both sides of the chest. It was minimal but got me very worried and the area felt painful to touch. When looked from above I could clearly see a convex dome-like shape which wasn’t there before (I have minimal body fat so it was very clear to see).
    So I immediately stopped consuming the flax seeds (since that was the one and ONLY change I made to my diet and lifestyle during this period) and after almost 2 months the tissue went away and I no longer have any tenderness or pain around the area. In other words everything is back to normal. I can still feel something under the nipples but it’s very flat/thin.

    I looked around the site and in Dr. Greger’s book about this issue but I can’t seem to find anything. I would like to include flax seeds in my diet because of all the health benefits they offer but after this I’m afraid to even come near them. Maybe I consumed too much and sort of “overdosed”? Any input about this would be very helpful!

    1. Hi, nE0n1nja! You can find everything on this site related to flax seeds here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/flax-seeds/ As part of his Daily Dozen, Dr. Greger suggests 1 tablespoon daily of ground flax seeds. You did take significantly more than that, so it could be simply a matter of consuming too much. It could also be that you are more sensitive than most people to flax. You might try the smaller daily “dose” of 1 tablespoon per day, and see what happens. If this issue still occurs, then flax might not be right for you. I hope that helps!

      1. Hi Christine, thank you so much for the reply! Yes, after the symptoms resolved I thought about starting to take flax again in much smaller doses, but I needed an opinion from someone with more knowledge on the subject. I couldn’t find concrete answer for my situation anywhere, so your advice definitely helps! I will try adding flax again to my diet in the recommended dosage and see what happens.
        Thanks again!

  22. Sequoia,

    The short answer is yes…… but depends both on what our looing to maintain and the total percentage.

    This publication found both degradation and decreased concentration of the omega 3 oils. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4778528/#:~:text=The%20main%20omega%2D3%20fatty,at%20150%20%C2%B0C%2C%20respectively.

    Vs this publication using different methods: https://omega3innovations.com/blog/does-frying-baking-and-canning-fish-affect-the-omega-3-content/

    And finally one had the boiling method addressed: A study on incorporation of flaxseeds into pasta – involving overnight drying of the flax-containing pasta at temperatures of either 104F(40C) or 178F (80C) plus boiling of the dried pasta – also showed a reduction in ALA of 8% or less. And a study on the boiling of flax bolls (the seed-containing portion of the plant) showed a reduction in ALA of 4-5%. All of these studies are consistent in demonstrating the relatively stable nature of ALA in flaxseeds to heat. (http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=18)

    So probably some loss of function but not much……

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

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