Is flaxeed beneficial for your health or if you're suffering from endometriosis? |
Plant estrogens, such as those found in flaxseed and soy, may affect your hormonal balance. Many post-menopausal women consume flaxseed to alleviate menopause symptoms because of its lignans (found in the seed husk and fibers).
It is thought that lignans in flaxseed fiber may affect estrogen levels, although some people claim plant estrogen actually blocks estrogen instead of increasing it.
Flaxseeds can be ground up and consumed as a powder or sprinkled on food. Flaxseed oil can be consumed in liquid or capsule form. In addition to that, some enjoy them in products like milk alternatives that don't require cooking. It says not to eat flaxseeds raw or unripe (they may be poisonous).
There is a recommendation that people born with uteri avoid phytoestrogens, including those with:
Cancer of the breast, cervix, or uterus; people who carry the BRCA1/2 gene defect; Have Endometriosis, fibroids, or PCOS; taking birth control pills, or taking hormone replacement therapy; breastfeeding or pregnant women; as well as, infants and toddlers. Women under 30 years of age.
Nevertheless, as with everything in life, there is a flip side. Women with endometriosis can use flaxseed in their diet according to an article published by the Center for Endometriosis Care. When dealing with Endometriosis, the Center for Young Women's Health recommends flaxseed as a valuable source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Women with Endometriosis should consult their doctors before using it to treat Endometriosis symptoms. Flaxseed powder can be sprinkled on cereal to relieve Endometriosis symptoms, according to "The Green Parent."
What the data says
Studies have found that post-menopausal women who consume phytoestrogen-rich diets have fewer hot flashes and fewer complaints of vaginal dryness than those who consume a non-plant-based diet.
Flaxseed contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful in reducing estrogen levels in the body, according to a 2008 study. Additionally, it stated that flaxseed fiber promoted healthy bowel movements, which eliminated excess estrogen as well.
Researchers also discovered that ground flaxseed that was consumed by postmenopausal women reduced their levels of testosterone, estradiol, and estrone. The study concluded that dietary flaxseed can "moderately lower serum levels of sex steroid hormones...".
Women taking flaxseed powder supplements were the subjects of a 2009 study. Diet may pose a risk for breast or hormone-dependent cancers, the study concluded. Is it hormone-dependent? A tumor called endometriosis cannot grow because it is hormone-dependent.
It has been found that men undergoing prostate cancer treatment or postmenopausal women seeking symptom relief can benefit from consuming flaxseeds.
Research has revealed that flaxseed is good for you, particularly because of its anti-inflammatory properties and Omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed has also been used in animal studies to improve the fetus's uterine lining before pregnancy. There are no studies that directly relate flaxseeds to endometriosis.
The decision ultimately lies with you. Consult your gynaecologist and seek medical advice if unclear or it may interfere with your medical conditions.
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