The effect of flaxseed supplementation on early risk markers for mammary carcinogenesis

Cancer Lett. 1991 Nov;60(2):135-42. doi: 10.1016/0304-3835(91)90220-c.


Since lignans have been suggested to have some cancer-protective effects, flaxseed, the most abundant source of lignan precursors, was tested for its effect on early markers of risk for mammary carcinogenesis. Supplementation of a high-fat diet with flaxseed flour (FF) or defatted flaxseed meal (FM) (5% or 10%) reduced the epithelial cell proliferation by 38.8-55.4% and nuclear aberrations by 58.8-65.9% in female rat mammary gland, with optimum effects seen with the 5% FF. These protective effects were accompanied by increases in urinary lignan excretion indicating that they may be related to the ability of flaxseed to provide lignan precursors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Lignans
  • Lignin / pharmacology*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / diet therapy
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / prevention & control*
  • Mutation / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Regression Analysis
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Lignans
  • Lignin