Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flaxseed-rich diet blocks prostate cancer growth and development in mice

11.11.2002


A diet rich in flaxseed seems to reduce the size, aggressiveness and severity of tumors in mice that have been genetically engineered to develop prostate cancer, according to new research from Duke University Medical Center. And in 3 percent of the mice, the flaxseed diet kept them from getting the disease at all.



“We are cautiously optimistic about these findings,” said Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., associate professor, division of urology and senior author of the study that appears in the November 2002 issue of the journal Urology. “The amount of flaxseed given to each mouse was 5 percent of its total food intake, which would be a very difficult amount for humans to eat, but it does signal that we are on the right track and need to continue research in this area.”

According to Demark-Wahnefried, planned clinical trials must be completed before it can be concluded that dietary flaxseed is a useful protective against prostate cancer in humans.


The research was sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, the National Cancer Institute and the Committee for Urologic Research Education and Development at Duke University Medical Center.

Clinical studies by other researchers have suggested that dietary fiber reduces cancer risk, and omega-3 fatty acids also have shown a protective benefit against cancer. Flaxseed is the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids and is high in fiber. Also, flaxseed is a source of lignan, a specific family of fiber-related compounds that appear to play a role in influencing both estrogen and testosterone metabolism. Since testosterone may be important in the progression of prostate cancer, lignan could help inhibit the growth and development of the disease.

In the Duke study, 135 mice genetically engineered to develop prostate cancer were divided into a control group and an experimental group. The experimental group received a regular mouse diet, but 5 percent of the diet was in the form of flaxseed. Half of the mice in both groups were fed their respective diets for 20 weeks and the remainder for 30 weeks. At the 20- and 30-week end points, the mice were autopsied to check for tumor growth and progression of the disease to other organs.

“Tumors in the untreated control group were twice the size of tumors in the flaxseed group,” said Xu Lin, M.D., research associate, division of urology and lead author of the study. “The tumors were also less aggressive in the flaxseed group, and two of the mice in the flaxseed group did not develop prostate cancer at all. The rates of apoptosis (tumor cell death) were also higher in the flaxseed group. And while it was not statistically significant, the flaxseed group had fewer rates of the cancer spreading to other organs. ”

While the results are promising, the researchers say they are not surprising. The study is the third in a series by the Duke Medical Center researchers to show the benefits of flaxseed in reducing the growth and development of prostate cancer.

The first study, published in July 2001 in Urology, demonstrated that a low-fat diet supplemented with flaxseed was associated with slower tumor growth. In this pilot study, 25 men with prostate cancer began adding ground flaxseed to their diets for 34 days. At the end of the study, the men saw a drop in testosterone levels and a trend toward lower prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, a marker for prostate cancer. The diet also was tolerated well and gave the authors hope for this dietary intervention.

The second study, published in the November-December 2001 issue of Anticancer Research, examined the effect lignans have on prostate cancer cell lines. This study showed that flaxseed-derived lignans inhibited the growth of three distinct human prostate cancer cell lines through hormonally dependent and independent mechanisms.

“So far we have observed the suppression of prostate cancer in humans, mice and at the cellular level,” said Lin. “It’s not a fluke or a coincidence. It’s an encouraging line of research.”

Demark-Wahnefried adds, "Our results are encouraging. However, before we can truly state that flaxseed is beneficial in humans, larger well-controlled trials are needed. The National Cancer Institute has provided us with the support to conduct a randomized clinical trial in 160 men with prostate cancer that will examine whether a low-fat diet, flaxseed supplementation or a combination of low-fat diet and flaxseed supplementation will be most effective in stopping prostate cancer cells from dividing. That trial is currently under way.”

contact sources :
Wendy Demark-Wahnefried Ph.D. , (919) 681-3261
demar001@mc.duke.edu

Amy Austell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=6041

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht ASU scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
14.12.2017 | Arizona State University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Guardians of the Gate

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>