Breast cancer. It’s a pretty serious thing. And the truth is that instances of breast cancer are happening in younger generations at an alarming rate: despite the drop in overall numbers. It so crucial to check yourself out at home, and it’s a very easy thing to do.
If you do discover something unusual in your breasts, go to your doctor in order to get it properly diagnosed.
Statistics About Breast Cancer
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- About 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2016. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
- About 40, 450 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2015 from breast cancer
So What Can You Do?
All right, I’ve posted the scary breast cancer statistics. So what about solutions? Well, the answer is seeds.
Not flaxseeds. Which I’ll admit is a bit of a gobsmack. I mean, for the last few years, our alternative health community has shown that flaxseeds are the healthiest seed out there.
Turns out: it’s not.
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Not that there’s anything wrong with flaxseeds, and they do have the best source of Omega-3 protein for the vegan/vegetarian diet. But when compared with sesame seeds, they lose on pretty much every other front.
How Seeds Help
Both seeds have a factor called, ‘mammalian lignans’, that can be broken up into two key factors: enterolactone (EL) and enterodiol (ED). (1)
Lignans come in two varieties: plant and mammalian. Plant lignans are made within plants and mammalian lignans are created in the colon as a precursor to a meal with plant lignans.
Mammalian lignans such as enterolactone and enterodiol, are produced in the colon from precursors in foods, and have been suggested as playing a role in the cancer-protective effect of vegetarian diets. (3) (4)
Seeds such as sesame and flaxseed are the best source of plant lignans. (5) And consumption of flax seeds have been connected to reduced risk of breast cancer by 18%. They have also been linked to a reduction of mortality in breast cancer patients by a whopping 32% (6). Flax additionally demonstrates antiproliferative effects in breast tissue of women at risk of breast cancer and may protect against primary breast cancer. Mortality risk may also be reduced among those living with breast cancer. (6)
The mammalian lignans EL and ED have been linked with hormone sensitive cancers (like ovarian, breast and prostate). Primarily because they interact so well with estrogen. This good interaction helps deliver lignans and their tumour busting powers (7) (8) to the places that need them most.
Sesame vs. Flaxseeds
So I talked a big game about flax seeds. What on earth do sesame seeds have that flaxseeds don’t?
In a study performed in 2005, 16 postmenopausal women were offered supplement bars that were either sesame, flax seed, or a combination of both. Observation proved that more, though not much more, mammalian lignans were produced in the consumption of sesame. It is important to note that in this study, the combination proved to be not as effective as either pure form (theoretically because they suppressed the lignans found in the other.) (9) So while this means that the benefits of their lignans are (basically) the same, sesame seeds have one key advantage.
A 2012 study found that sesame seeds have the upper hand in the type of lignan they produce, called sesamin. Sesamin increases the chances and rate of success of apoptosis. Apoptosis is the body’s way of clearing away defunct, deformed, or dying cells: primarily this means they target cancerous cells in the body. While flax seeds have their own chemical (secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) it isn’t as effective at encouraging apoptosis.
What’s All this Mean?
It means that you should be including seeds in your diet. Whether you choose to go flax seeds or sesame seeds for preventative measures is up to you (which one tastes better?). But when trying to supplement your cancer care, sesame seeds will be more effective at targeting your cancerous cells than flax seeds..
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