A recent study found that eating flax seeds would reduce the risk of breast cancer, after testing it on female mice, according to the American magazine Newsweek. Previous studies have shown a relationship between consumption of a fibrous compound found in many plant foods, called lignan, and a lower death rate from breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
The secret of the association of the lignan compound with a decrease in the death rate from breast cancer was not previously known.
The new study revealed that lignans, which are abundant in flax seeds, are linked to interactions with intestinal microbes, which play an essential role in physical and mental health, by acting as a barrier against harmful microbes.
The new study, published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum, showed a link between microRNA in the mammary gland and intestinal microbes, in experiments on young female mice.
The researchers found that this relationship is modifiable by dietary intervention, highlighting the existence of a relationship between microRNA (miRNA) and organs, showing that dietary interventions interact to influence them, and suggesting a new path to breast cancer prevention.
“Microorganisms in the digestive system play an important role in modifying many components of our diet, to influence human health,” said Jennifer Ochtung, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska.
She added: “We found associations between diets rich in flaxseeds, the composition of the colon microbiota, and microRNA profiles in the mammary gland that regulate several pathways, including those associated with cancer development.”
Breast cancer affects approximately 240,000 people each year in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resulting in approximately 42,500 deaths annually.