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Flaxseed

17 REPLIES 17

Re: Flaxseed

Hi Roadrunner,

that basically confirms what I have been lead to believe. I think I will still avoid Flaxseed (linseed) but I will not worry about using Soya and tofu while I am having to cook for two vegetarians for 10 days.

Hopefully I don't now have any cancer in my body, fingers x, so there is not a problem. 

Again I will check out the link when I get home. 

Nette 

Re: Flaxseed

No-one really knows the answer to the phytoestrogen question.  In countries where the diet contains a lot of phytoestrogens the rate of breast cancer is lower.  There is some speculation that the phytoestrogens bind onto the cancer receptors in the breast, preventing our natural oestrogen doing so, and so preventing tumour growth.  Others think they act like oestrogen and so we should avoid them.  

 

There's an interesting article here, specifically about flaxseed:

 

https://www.oncologynutrition.org/erfc/hot-topics/flaxseeds-and-breast-cancer/

 

Nette - I think the leaflet about there being no evidence that soya milk is harmful is correct - so much information about phytoestrogens is just speculation and/or informed guesswork as the necessary clinical trials have not been done.

Re: Flaxseed

Hi, Another alternative is Long acting Replens, might be worth also asking about this for vaginal dryness?

Shelly

Re: Flaxseed

Hi Bondgirl,

I am not surprised you are confused. When I discussed this specific subject with my oncologist and BC nurse, they told me to try the non estrogen moisturiser and lubricants first. 

As I have only just finished chemo - I have not been active, so to speak, and do not know how well they will work for me. But I have been told - that if all else fails, they will prescribe, initially as lower dose as possible,

estrogen containing products. They put it - quality of life is important, too.

Maybe it also depends what your ER+ score was. Mine was as high, as it possibly gets, so I understand precisely, why they are taking this route. The lower your ER+ score, perhaps the risk is a little reduced?

Sue xxx 

Re: Flaxseed

Bit confused here as my surgeon and oncologist have both just given me the green light to use Vagifem for vaginal dryness as it is causing pain and distress.

 

anyone else using Vagifem and having ER+ breast cancer 😞

Re: Flaxseed / Linseed

 Hi Sue, 

Thank you for the link. I am on holiday at the moment with limited wifi but will check it out when I get home.

I think what everyone needs is a website that gives the data on Phytoestrogens in a red, amber and green format. Contains a lot, moderate amount or small amount. 

Maybe we can look into this and somewhere produce a comprehensive list.

I do remember that when I was first diagnosed I was having Soya milk on my cereals every morning. I remember seeing and reading a leaflet on Soya milk, produced by Macmillian or Breast Cancer Care that actually said that there was no evidence that Soya milk was harmful.  This is obviously not correct. When I get home I will try to find the leaflet and reread.

Nette 

Re: Flaxseed

 Hi Sue, 

Thank you for the link. I am on holiday at the moment with limited wifi but will check it out when I get home.

I think what everyone needs is a website that gives the data on Phytoestrogens in a red, amber and green format. Contains a lot, moderate amount or small amount. 

Maybe we can look into this and somewhere produce a comprehensive list.

I do remember that when I was first diagnosed I was having Soya milk on my cereals every morning. I remember seeing and reading a leaflet on Soya milk, produced by Macmillian or Breast Cancer Care that actually said that there was no evidence that Soya milk was harmful.  This is obviously not correct. When I get home I will try to find the leaflet and reread.

Nette 

Re: Flaxseed

Hi Anita,

There is a lot of confusion about it and there is much out there via Google.

The picture may further be confused as information and research re. intake of phytoestrogens preventing breast cancer in the first place. Research on phytoestrogens post diagnosis is extremely sketchy.

We have been diagnosed - and we do have it - we know that when a cell turns 'rouge' it will feed on estrogen (oestrogen) and therefore also phytoestrogen to grow.

We are generally advised not to use supplements to ease menopausal symptoms - as they contain phytoestrogens in high doses. We also are advised not to use any estrogen containing moisurisers for vaginal atrophy or dryness and are therefore recommended brands, which do not contain them.

So my logic says to me - to avoid foods, which contain high concentrations of phytoestrogens, too.

However it is a personal choice. 

Sue xx

Re: Flaxseed

My breast cancer is oestrogen positive & no one has mentioned to me about avoiding certain foods so you've got me worried now. I'm on Anastrozole & Zoladex injections. If it is a problem why doesn't anyone tell you. If you google such things there are conflicting opinions so I tend not to. In fact I've not really changed my diet at all since being diagnosed. Now I'm wondering if I should? X

Re: Flaxseed

Hi NetteW

I understand your concern very well - hence I quoted it, rather than writing something myself.

As I said - phytoestrogens are in many foods and we cannot completely avoid them.

The items I mentioned are very high in phytoestrogens, hence I mentioned them - as foods to possibly avoid.

As always it is our decision - and everything in moderation seems to be the key.

Here is the article, from where the quote came - and it will give you the actual data. From that you can see, why some of it might be a good idea to avoid and others to be eaten in moderation. After all - we have to eat and stay healthy! There may be the thought of weighing up, whether the other benefits - such as minerals, vitamins, fibre, etc. outweigh the phytoestrogen, especially if it is relatiely low. 

http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/04/08/20-foods-high-in-estrogen-phytoestrogens/

Sue xxx

Re: Flaxseed

Hi NetteW,

 

I'm feeling extremely stupid as I consider myself someone who is a good cook, a foodie, and generally I read around and research subjects.  However, I hadn't realised that flax seeds were the same as linseeds and have been merrily adding them to my muesli mix for months!  So that will stop.  I think you're right, moderation is the key.

 

I can recommend this website: https://kelliesfoodtoglow.com Kellie does not write specifically for breast cancer but she is a health educationist and nutrition adviser with Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and is not bonkers as many 'health' cancer websites can be.  I like her recipes.

 

I also like the Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Royal-Marsden-Cancer-Cookbook-Nutritious/dp/0857832328/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&i... which takes a similiar all things in moderation approach.  Again, it's not written specifically with breast cancer in mind but I find it helpful and easy enough to apply the oestrogen positive principles (I'm also ER+)

 

Hope that helps,

B x

Re: Flaxseed

Thank you Sue,

You post is interesting but concerns me in the blanket coverage of the quote, "bran, bean, fruit and vegetables". 

It is obvious that we need to avoid boosting estrogen in our food but such board strokes are not helpful. 

I am going to have to feed two vegetarians for ten days next month and am now wondering if I should eat any Soya, tofu products, nuts, beans and lentils. Do I also need to worry about the number of fresh beans of various types that I have been eating during my friends allotment glut. 

I am sure the answer is not that simple. What is becoming very obvious over the last couple of months is that what we eat is not as simple as, good for you, or harmful. Do we eat fat Inc butter or not?

I eat a scoop of oat bran every morning, I also eat fresh beans and occasionally tinned beans and chick peas Inc hummus.  I average three portions of fruit a day and eat up to five portions of mixed vegetables.  As I was diagnosed as pre diabetic last winter I eat a very low level of carbohydrates but now snack on mixed nuts.

I will check out foods high in Phytoestrogens and try to apply the rules of moderation. It is very important as we recover and survive beyond BC that we exercise and eat a varied balanced diet and that surely must include a fair proportion of fibre. Wholegrains, fruit and vegetables. I think I will have to stop more than one small portion of nuts and not everyday. 

I would love to hear what others feel about this particularly any dietitians and vegetarians

NetteW 

 

 

Re: Flaxseed

Hi ladies

posted this on another thread - but may be of help here - to understand - and flaxseed has higher amount of phytoestrogens than even soya.

We should stay away from anything - food or supplement wise,which has higher amounts of phytoestrogens.

These do occur in our foods naturally and mimic estrogen, from which we should stay away if we had a hormone positive diagnosis.

Here is a better explanation as the 'why'

QUOTE -  

Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are considered plant-based compounds that elicit similar effects to estrogen. Although phytoestrogens aren’t generated from within the endocrine system, they can be a helpful way to stimulate many of the same functions of estrogen. This is because phytoestrogens sit in the same receptor sites that estrogen would – thus similar effects are produced.

3 Types of Phytoestrogens
Below are three common types of phytoestrogens derived from foods. Certain foods may contain multiple types of phytoestrogens, but one may be dominant.
Coumestan: Phytochemicals called “coumestans” contain a compound called “coumestrol.” Coumestrol is known to elicit estrogenic effects and is considered a phytoestrogen. Examples of foods with coumestrol include: alfalfa, legumes, pinto beans, soybeans, chick peas, and clovers.
Isoflavones: This is another compound that is related to “isoflavonoids.” They act as phytoestrogens in people and are sometimes considered antioxidants. Examples of isoflavones include: soy products and legumes.
Lignans: This is the third type of phytoestrogen derived from foods. Lignans are most commonly found in foods like brans, beans, fruits, and vegetables. - END QUOTE

 

Of course we cannot avoid them altogether - otherwise we would not eat! We should try and stay away from those containing a high percentage such as:

Flax seeds

Soya and anyting made out of or containing soya

Tofu

Textured veggie protein

It may be an idea not to overdose on nuts.  

Any supplements, which say they alleviate menopausal symptoms are a no, as are any other supplements, which have estrogen enhancing properties, such as Maca root. If in doubt - google the supplement and check its ingredients and what they are supposed to do for you. It may throw some light onto whether they are ok or not. It may also be worth asking your chemist and explain the reason why you are asking.

Hope this helps

Sue xx

Re: Flaxseed

 Hi, I also started to take flaxseed (linseed) as a natural alternative to Lactose as it seem to have the same properties of drawing fluid into the bowel. However my joints and bunions started to play up and so I stopped. When I mentioned this to my practice nurse she told me it was a form or oestrogen (ER) so as I am on Letrozole it was not a good idea. No need to increase my oestrogen when I am taking tablets to reduce it. So I think it may be very good for others but NOT ER positives.

Nette 

Re: Flaxseed

This has worried me a little as I'm on Anastrozole and have been sprinkling two tablespoons of the stuff on my Weetabix each morning for the last month! I'd read it was good for breast cancer. I'll stop now. We're bombarded with conflicting advice. x

Re: Flaxseed

Thank you. So much conflicting advice about diet for her2 positive breast cancer. As I'm on Letrozole, I'll take your oncologists advice and steer clear.

Re: Flaxseed

Hi Amelia I have also read a lot of conflicting advice and was recommended to take flaxseed by a gastroenterologist who I saw about tamoxifen induced constipation. I spoke to my oncologist about it. He said it was not ideal to take it alongside tamoxifen and it definitely shouldn't be taken with aromatase inhibitors. It's interesting how many different opinions there are about this but I decided to take his advice.

Flaxseed

Does anyone have any thoughts about adding flaxseed to their diet. I have read conflicting reports on the web. I'm Her 2 positive ER+.