In the PCOS | ESTROGEN DOMINANCE Community there is one constant question… Are Flax Seeds Good For Estrogen Dominance and PCOS?
The Great Flax Seeds Debate
No matter where you look in the PCOS and Estrogen Dominance communities, there is a mention of seeds and Flax Seeds, in particular, come up a lot. Strangely I found equally as many people recommending Flax Seeds for regulating hormones as there are warning against them. So do they lower and detox out excess Estrogen or do they make Estrogen Dominance worse? Confused, I took matters into my own hands and asked in PCOS and Estrogen Dominance communities, read studies, read countless articles, and finally came up with this basic information to sum it all up.
Possible Benefits of Flax Seeds for Estrogen Dominance:
Flax seeds contain a beneficial phytoestrogen called lignans, found to be anti-carcinogenic and inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. They’ve also been shown in studies to help the body rid itself of certain forms of estrogen.
Flax seeds are weakly estrogenic, which explains why they may help with hot flash symptoms in women dealing with hormone insufficiency, but are also antiestrogenic, capable of binding to estrogen receptors and blocking out more powerful estrogens (both endogenous and xenobiotic) at the same time.
But maybe not…
Possible Dangers of Flax Seeds for Estrogen Dominance:
Flax seeds are tiny seeds of the flax plant, known for their rich content of fiber and essential omega-3 fats. Flax seeds also contain lignans, substances with estrogenic properties. If you have a history of estrogen-sensitive cancer, such as uterine or breast, they may not be safe, says NYU Langone Medical Center — a few test tube studies suggest lignans may stimulate certain cancer cells. On the other hand, lignans may inhibit cancer cell growth in some people, depending on the cancer type, hormone levels, and how much flaxseed is consumed. Ask your doctor if you should avoid flaxseeds.
My conclusion on Flax Seeds for Estrogen Dominance and PCOS:
Speaking with various people in the PCOS/Estrogen Dominance community, I could not find anyone who benefited personally from flaxseeds in terms of lowering Estrogen. That being said upon lengthier investigation I came across stronger and stronger evidence that Flax Seeds ARE beneficial for Estrogen Dominance and PCOS. Based on this overwhelming evidence I now not only recommend Flax Seeds for everyone (it’s good for both low Estrogen and very high Estrogen). I have started incorporating 1-3 tablespoons per day in my diet.
“Tamoxifen is an adjuvant therapy for breast cancer that seems to work principally by competing with estrogen for binding to estrogen receptors. Health professionals often question whether the lignans in flaxseeds could interfere with tamoxifen. However, studies of mice injected with ER+ human breast cancer suggest that in both high- and low estrogen conditions (modeling pre- and postmeno-pausal breast cancer), flaxseed either enhanced or maintain the effectiveness of tamoxifen in decreasing tumor growth, decreasing cell proliferation and increasing apoptosis. However, no results of clinical trials of flaxseed use during tamoxifen treatment are currently available. Research is in progress regarding flaxseed use during treatment with aromatase inhibitors.”
Further Reading on the topic:
The Effect of Flaxseed in Breast Cancer: A Literature Review
Get To The Comments
What is your take on Flax Seeds and/or personal experiences? Share any studies we should all look it too. Let’s help each other.