Dietary Lignans Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

The Physicians Committee

Dietary Lignans Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

June 9, 2010

Postmenopausal women whose diets include plenty of lignans, natural compounds found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and flax and sesame seeds, may have a lower risk of breast cancer, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers found that postmenopausal women who consumed plenty of lignans reduced their risk of breast cancer by 14 percent. Lignans are similar in some ways to the isoflavones found in soy products, but are found in a variety of foods other than soy products. Researchers conducted a review of 21 prior studies to observe the connection between diet and breast cancer risk. The benefit from lignans may be due to their ability to block estrogen’s activity in the body or to other anticancer effects.

Buck K, Zaineddin AK, Vrieling A, Linseisen J, Chang-Claude J. Meta-analyses of lignans and enterolignans in relation to breast cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr. Published ahead of print May 12, 2010. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28573.

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