Flax Abstracts 1

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Flaxseed and its lignans inhibit estradiol-induced growth, angiogenesis, and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor in human breast cancer xenografts in vivo
(Bergman Jungestrom et al., 2007) Download
PURPOSE: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent stimulator of angiogenesis, which is crucial in cancer progression. We have previously shown that estradiol (E2) increases VEGF in breast cancer. Phytoestrogens are potential compounds in breast cancer prevention and treatment by poorly understood mechanisms. The main phytoestrogens in Western diet are lignans, and flaxseed is a rich source of the mammalian lignans enterodiol and enterolactone. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In the present study, ovariectomized mice were treated with continuous release of E2. MCF-7 tumors were established and mice were fed with basal diet or 10% flaxseed, and two groups that were fed basal diet received daily injections with enterodiol or enterolactone (15 mg/kg body weight). RESULTS: We show that flaxseed, enterodiol, and enterolactone counteracted E2-induced growth and angiogenesis in solid tumors. Extracellular VEGF in vivo, sampled using microdialysis, in all intervention groups was significantly decreased compared with tumors in the basal diet group. Our in vivo findings were confirmed in vitro. By adding enterodiol or enterolactone, E2-induced VEGF secretion in MCF-7 cells decreased significantly without agonistic effects. The increased VEGF secretion by E2 in MCF-7 cells increased the expression of VEGF receptor-2 in umbilical vein endothelial cells, suggesting a proangiogenic effect by E2 by two different mechanisms, both of which were inhibited by the addition of lignans. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that flaxseed and its lignans have potent antiestrogenic effects on estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and may prove to be beneficial in breast cancer prevention strategies in the future.

Supplementation with flaxseed alters estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women to a greater extent than does supplementation with an equal amount of soy
            (Brooks et al., 2004) Download
BACKGROUND: Phytoestrogens, which are abundant in flaxseed and soy, have chemical structures resembling those of endogenous estrogens and have been shown to exert hormonal effects, thereby affecting chronic diseases. OBJECTIVE: We compared the effects of consuming equal amounts of flaxseed or soy on estrogen metabolism and biochemical markers of bone metabolism in postmenopausal women. DESIGN: In a parallel design, the diet of postmenopausal women (n = 46) was supplemented with either a placebo, soy (25 g soy flour), or flaxseed (25 g ground flaxseed) muffin for 16 wk. Blood and 24-h urine samples were collected at baseline and at the endpoint. Urine samples were analyzed for phytoestrogens, estrogen metabolites (2-hydroxyestrone, 16alpha-hydroxyestrone), and serum hormones (estradiol, estrone, estrone sulfate). Serum and urine samples were also analyzed for biochemical markers of bone metabolism. RESULTS: Urinary concentrations of 2-hydroxyestrone, but not of 16alpha-hydroxyestrone, increased significantly in the flaxseed group (P = 0.05). In the flaxseed group, the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrone to 16alpha-hydroxyestrone was positively correlated with urinary lignan excretion (r = 0.579, P = 0.02). In the soy and placebo groups, no significant correlation was observed. No significant change in serum hormones or biochemical markers of bone metabolism was observed within or between the treatment groups. CONCLUSIONS: Supplementation with flaxseed modifies urinary estrogen metabolite excretion to a greater extent than does supplementation with an equal amount of soy. This modification by flaxseed is associated with an increase in urinary lignan excretion. Despite the shift in estrogen metabolism to favor the less biologically active estrogens, a negative effect on bone cell metabolism was not observed.

Flaxseed supplementation (not dietary fat restriction) reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men presurgery
            (Demark-Wahnefried et al., 2008) Download
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer affects one of six men during their lifetime. Dietary factors are postulated to influence the development and progression of prostate cancer. Low-fat diets and flaxseed supplementation may offer potentially protective strategies. METHODS: We undertook a multisite, randomized controlled trial to test the effects of low-fat and/or flaxseed-supplemented diets on the biology of the prostate and other biomarkers. Prostate cancer patients (n = 161) scheduled at least 21 days before prostatectomy were randomly assigned to one of the following arms: (a) control (usual diet), (b) flaxseed-supplemented diet (30 g/d), (c) low-fat diet (<20% total energy), or (d) flaxseed-supplemented, low-fat diet. Blood was drawn at baseline and before surgery and analyzed for prostate-specific antigen, sex hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, insulin-like growth factor-I and binding protein-3, C-reactive protein, and total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Tumors were assessed for proliferation (Ki-67, the primary endpoint) and apoptosis. RESULTS: Men were on protocol an average of 30 days. Proliferation rates were significantly lower (P < 0.002) among men assigned to the flaxseed arms. Median Ki-67-positive cells/total nuclei ratios (x100) were 1.66 (flaxseed-supplemented diet) and 1.50 (flaxseed-supplemented, low-fat diet) versus 3.23 (control) and 2.56 (low-fat diet). No differences were observed between arms with regard to side effects, apoptosis, and most serologic endpoints; however, men on low-fat diets experienced significant decreases in serum cholesterol (P = 0.048). CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that flaxseed is safe and associated with biological alterations that may be protective for prostate cancer. Data also further support low-fat diets to manage serum cholesterol.

Daily flaxseed consumption improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes: a randomized study.
            (Hutchins et al., 2013) Download
The study hypothesis was that fasting glucose, insulin, fructosamine, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6 decrease and adiponectin increases with daily flaxseed consumption in overweight or obese individuals with pre-diabetes. In this randomized, cross-over study overweight or obese men and postmenopausal women (n = 25) with pre-diabetes consumed 0, 13, or 26 g ground flaxseed for 12 weeks. Glucose, insulin, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR), and normalized percent of alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA) were significantly different by treatment (multiple analysis of variance, P = .036, P = .013, P = .008, P = .024 respectively). Paired t tests showed glucose decreased on the 13 g intervention compared to the 0 g period [13 g = -2.10 +/- 1.66 mg/L (mean +/- SEM), 0 g = 9.22 +/- 4.44 mg/L, P = .036]. Insulin decreased on the 13 g intervention but not the 26 g (P = .021) and 0 g (P = .013) periods (13 g = -2.12 +/- 1.00 mU/L, 26 g = 0.67 +/- 0.84 mU/L, 0 g = 1.20 +/- 1.16 mU/L). HOMA-IR decreased on the 13 g period but not on the 26 g (P = .012) and 0 g (P = .008) periods (13 g = -0.71 +/- 0.31, 26 g = 0.27 +/- 0.24, 0 g = 0.51 +/- 0.35). The alpha-linolenic fatty acid decrease for the 0 g period was different than the 13 g (P = .024) and 26 g (P = .000) periods (13 g = 0.20 +/- 0.04, 26 g = 0.35 +/- 0.07, 0 g = -0.01 +/- 0.07). Fructosamine, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and high-sensitivity interleukin-6 had no significant differences. Flaxseed intake decreased glucose and insulin and improved insulin sensitivity as part of a habitual diet in overweight or obese individuals with pre-diabetes.

Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk.
            (Lowcock et al., 2013) Download
PURPOSE: To investigate the association between intake of flaxseed-the richest source of dietary lignans (a class of phytoestrogens)-and breast cancer risk. METHODS: A food frequency questionnaire was used to measure the consumption of flaxseed and flax bread by 2,999 women with breast cancer and 3,370 healthy control women who participated in the Ontario Women's Diet and Health Study (2002-2003). Logistic regression was used to investigate associations between consumption of flaxseed and flax bread and breast cancer risk. Confounding by established and suspected breast cancer risk factors, as well as dietary factors, was assessed. RESULTS: Flaxseed or flax bread was consumed at least weekly by 21 % of control women. None of the 19 variables assessed were identified as confounders of the associations between flaxseed or flax bread and breast cancer risk. Consumption of flaxseed was associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk (odds ratio (OR) = 0.82, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.69-0.97), as was consumption of flax bread (OR = 0.77, 95 % CI 0.67-0.89). CONCLUSIONS: This Canadian study is, to our knowledge, the first to report on the association between flaxseed alone and breast cancer risk and has found that flaxseed intake is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. As dietary intake of flaxseed is modifiable, this finding may be of public health importance with respect to breast cancer prevention.

Meta-analysis of the effects of flaxseed interventions on blood lipids
            (Pan et al., 2009) Download
BACKGROUND: Several clinical trials have investigated the effects of flaxseed and flaxseed-derived products (flaxseed oil or lignans) on blood lipids; however, the findings have been inconsistent. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify and quantify the effectiveness of flaxseed and its derivatives on blood lipid profiles. DESIGN: A comprehensive literature search was performed on the basis of English reports of randomized controlled trials of flaxseed or its derivatives on lipid profiles in adults, which were published from January 1990 to October 2008. Attempts also were made to access unpublished data. Study quality was assessed by using the Jadad score, and a meta-analysis was conducted. RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies were included. Flaxseed interventions reduced total and LDL cholesterol by 0.10 mmol/L (95% CI: -0.20, 0.00 mmol/L) and 0.08 mmol/L (95% CI: -0.16, 0.00 mmol/L), respectively; significant reductions were observed with whole flaxseed (-0.21 and -0.16 mmol/L, respectively) and lignan (-0.28 and -0.16 mmol/L, respectively) supplements but not with flaxseed oil. The cholesterol-lowering effects were more apparent in females (particularly postmenopausal women), individuals with high initial cholesterol concentrations, and studies with higher Jadad scores. No significant changes were found in the concentrations of HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. CONCLUSIONS: Flaxseed significantly reduced circulating total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations, but the changes were dependent on the type of intervention, sex, and initial lipid profiles of the subjects. Further studies are needed to determine the efficiency of flaxseed on lipid profiles in men and premenopausal women and to explore its potential benefits on other cardiometabolic risk factors and prevention of cardiovascular disease.


 

Flaxseed supplementation improved insulin resistance in obese glucose intolerant people: a randomized crossover design
            (Rhee and Brunt, 2011) Download
BACKGROUND: Obesity leads to an increase in inflammation and insulin resistance. This study determined antioxidant activity of flaxseed and its role in inflammation and insulin resistance in obese glucose intolerant people. METHODS: Using a randomized crossover design, nine obese glucose intolerant people consumed 40 g ground flaxseed or 40 g wheat bran daily for 12 weeks with a 4-week washout period. Plasma inflammation biomarkers (CRP, TNF-alpha, and IL-6), glucose, insulin, and thiobaribituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) were measured before and after of each supplementation. RESULTS: Flaxseed supplementation decreased TBARS (p = 0.0215) and HOMA-IR (p = 0.0382). Flaxseed or wheat bran supplementation did not change plasma inflammatory biomarkers. A positive relationship was found between TBARS and HOMA-IR (r = 0.62, p = 0.0003). CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study weakly support that decreased insulin resistance might have been secondary to antioxidant activity of flaxseed. However, the mechanism(s) of decreased insulin resistance by flaxseed should be further determined using flaxseed lignan.

Dietary flaxseed meal reduces proteinuria and ameliorates nephropathy in an animal model of type II diabetes mellitus
            (Velasquez et al., 2003) Download
BACKGROUND: Evidence is emerging that varying the type or source of dietary protein intake can have beneficial effects on chronic renal disease. Consumption of soybean and soy-based food products, as the source of plant protein, can retard the development and progression of chronic renal disease. We studied the obese spontaneously hypertensive/NIH-corpulent (SHR/N-cp) rat, a model of obesity and type II diabetes mellitus that consistently develops nephropathy resembling diabetic nephropathy. We specifically sought to determine whether changing the source of protein intake from animal protein, casein, to plant protein in the form of either soy protein concentrate or flaxseed protein in the diet has a different impact on renal function and nephropathy in this model. METHODS: Male obese SHR/N-cp rats were randomly assigned to one of three diets containing either 20% casein, 20% soy protein concentrate, or 20% flaxseed meal. Except for the protein source, all three diets were identical and contained similar amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. All animals were maintained on these diets for 6 months. At the end of the study, blood sampling and 24-hour urine collections were performed for renal functional measurements, and the kidneys were harvested and examined for histologic evaluation. RESULTS: All three groups had similar amounts of food intake and body weight gain and exhibited fasting hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Plasma glucose levels did not differ among the three groups, but plasma insulin concentration was significantly lower in rats fed flaxseed meal than those fed either casein or soy protein concentrate. Mean plasma creatinine, creatinine clearance, and urinary urea excretion also did not differ significantly between the three groups. By contrast, urinary protein excretion was significantly lower (P < 0.01) in rats fed flaxseed than in rats fed either casein or soy protein concentrate. Morphologic analysis of renal structural lesions showed that the percentage of abnormal glomeruli with mesangial expansion and the tubulointerstitial score (an index of severity of tubulointerstitial damage) were significantly reduced in rats fed flaxmeal compared to those fed casein or soy protein concentrate. CONCLUSION: We conclude that dietary protein substitution with flaxseed meal reduces proteinuria and glomerular and tubulointerstitial lesions in obese SHR/N-cp rats and that flaxseed meal is more effective than soy protein in reducing proteinuria and renal histologic abnormalities in this model. The reduction in proteinuria and renal injury was independent of the amount of protein intake and glycemic control. Which dietary component(s) present in flaxseed meal is (are) responsible for the renal protective effect remains to be determined.

 

 


References

Bergman Jungestrom, M., L. U. Thompson, and C. Dabrosin (2007), ‘Flaxseed and its lignans inhibit estradiol-induced growth, angiogenesis, and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor in human breast cancer xenografts in vivo’, Clin Cancer Res, 13 (3), 1061-67. PubMedID: 17289903
Brooks, J. D., et al. (2004), ‘Supplementation with flaxseed alters estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women to a greater extent than does supplementation with an equal amount of soy’, Am J Clin Nutr, 79 (2), 318-25. PubMedID: 14749240
Demark-Wahnefried, W., et al. (2008), ‘Flaxseed supplementation (not dietary fat restriction) reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men presurgery’, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 17 (12), 3577-87. PubMedID: 19064574
Hutchins, AM, et al. (2013), ‘Daily flaxseed consumption improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes: a randomized study.’, Nutr Res, 33 (5), 367-75. PubMedID: 23684438
Lowcock, EC, M Cotterchio, and BA Boucher (2013), ‘Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk.’, Cancer Causes Control, 24 (4), 813-16. PubMedID: 23354422
Pan, A., et al. (2009), ‘Meta-analysis of the effects of flaxseed interventions on blood lipids’, Am J Clin Nutr, 90 (2), 288-97. PubMedID: 19515737
Rhee, Y. and A. Brunt (2011), ‘Flaxseed supplementation improved insulin resistance in obese glucose intolerant people: a randomized crossover design’, Nutr J, 10 44. PubMedID: 21554710
Velasquez, M. T., et al. (2003), ‘Dietary flaxseed meal reduces proteinuria and ameliorates nephropathy in an animal model of type II diabetes mellitus’, Kidney Int, 64 (6), 2100-7. PubMedID: 14633132