Does Flaxseed Oil Cause Prostate Cancer?

leonardo da vinci vitruvian man drawing

If you’re a health-conscious guy, you may be wondering, “Will taking flaxseed oil increase my risk for prostate cancer?”

Flaxseed oil is a great plant source of the omega 3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA).

Many studies have confirmed the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, including cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation and even regulating mood.

While ALA belongs to a group of essential fatty acids our bodies require optimal health, there are conflicting reports that having high dietary or blood levels of ALA may cause prostate cancer.

An abstract published in the 2004 issue of The Journal of Urology reviewed a number of studies with some showing a positive correlation between high ALA and prostate cancer, while other studies showed a negative or no association with ALA and prostate cancer.

Now before we sound any alarm bells and advise all men to avoid flaxseed oils, current research shows that your risk for prostate cancer may actually depend more on your overall dietary habits, than adding a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your diet….

Eating a Fatty, Meat-Based More Dangerous Than Flaxseed Oil

Researchers at Harvard Medical School believe the types of fat in your diet may determine if you’ll get prostate cancer.

Studies have shown that eating a meat-based diet may lead to an increased risk for prostate cancer.

A study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention analyzed data from 172 countries. They found a high correlation between high intakes of red meat and an increased risk for prostate cancer.

Another study in the 2014 issue of Nutrition and Metabolism Journal found increasing evidence that a diet of red meat and dietary fats should be minimized as they appear to increase the risk for prostate cancer.

This risk was seen mostly in men eating diets containing high amounts of red meats and bacon, which are also sources of unwanted saturated and trans-fatty acids.

Does that mean that eating any type of red meat will increase your risk for prostate cancer?

The answer may also lie in how you cook your red meat…

piece of thick red steak

Studies have shown that exposing fatty acids, such as ALA, to high cooking temperatures releases cancer-causing agents, such as benzene.

These high cooking temperatures would be equivalent to grilling a steak and studies show that grilling meat causes cancer.

National Cancer Institute says Alpha Linolenic Acid won’t cause Cancer

So it appears that a diet of fatty red meats may be a lot worse that taking a spoonful of flaxseed oil.

If you need additional reassurance that flaxseed oil won’t cause prostate cancer, a study released by the The National Cancer Institute should help.

In 2006, The National Cancer Institute performed a ground-breaking study on Alpha Linolenic Acid and prostate cancer.

This study involved 29,592 predominantly Caucasian men, aged from 55 – 74 years old. They were screened annually for an average of 5.1 years for any new incidents of prostate cancer, as well as their dietary intakes of ALA and ALA from specific food sources (such as flaxseed oils).

Researchers found absolutely no link between increased levels of ALA and prostate cancer.


The current research appears to show that consuming flaxseed oil does not increase the risk for prostate cancer.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats that we need for a balanced diet, and flaxseed oils are an excellent plant-source of these healthy fats.

Consumers that want to increase their dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids (but choose to avoid flaxseed oils) can eat at least 1 – 2 servings of fatty, freshwater fish once a week. Other options are to take omega 3 supplements, including fish oil or krill oil.

One of the most popular flax seed oils being sold by many online retailers is Barlean’s Organic High Lignan Flax Oil. One 15 ml. tablespoon provides 7230 mg. of Omega 3 fatty acids and 1800 mg. of Omega 6 fatty acids. This product has one of the highest positive customer reviews with over 87% of customers giving it at least 4 out of 5 star for product satisfaction.

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