Does Flaxseed Oil cause Prostate Cancer?

Some media reports have suggested a possible link between flaxseed oil and prostate cancer.

flaxseed oil prostate cancerIf you’re a health-conscious guy, you may be wondering, “Will I increase my risk for prostate cancer if I take this oil?”

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

These special fats have been shown to help reduce your risk for heart disease, fight inflammation and boost the immune system.

While ALA is a healthy fatty acid, there are published reports that high levels of alpha linolenic acid have been seen in some cases of prostate cancer.

Additionally, some animal studies have shown prostate cancer cells may grow when exposed to alpha linolenic acid.

Now before we sound any alarm bells, there is research stating that your overall risk for prostate cancer may depend more on the type of fats you’re actually getting in your diet….



Eating a Fatty Meat-Based Diet May Increase Your Cancer Risk

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

There is research showing that diets that have fish oils and/or dairy fats (not including butter) correlated with lower risks for prostate cancer.

However, scientists believe that eating a primarily meat-based diet that has high levels of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) may lead to an increased risk for cancer.

This risk was seen in men who ate diets containing high amounts of red meats and bacon which are sources of saturated and trans-fatty acids.

Does that mean that eating meat will increase your risk for prostate cancer?

steak2The answer may lie in how you cook your meat.

Scientists now know that exposing ALA to high cooking temperatures releases cancer-causing agents, such as benzene.

High cooking temperatures would be equivalent to grilling a steak. And researchers now believe that grilling meat causes cancer.


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

So if you need any reassurance about flaxseed oil causing prostate cancer, I think this study should say it all….

The National Cancer Institute performed a ground-breaking study on alpha linolenic acid and prostate cancer involving over 29,000 men.

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

Another study from Norway also found no connection between a dietary intake of ALA and prostate cancer.


Editorial Comments:

The current research appears to show that consuming flaxseed oil shouldn’t increase your risk for prostate cancer.

Flaxseed oil is a great plant-source of omega 3 fatty acids. People who can’t eat fish could take flaxseeds or flaxseed oil supplements to round out their omega 3 intake.

People that still wish to avoid flaxseed oils could take fish oils, krill oil, or eat at least 1 – 2 servings of freshwater fish per week. This will ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of healthy fats in your diet.

Personally, I think moderation is the key. I don’t think you need to gulp down bottles of flaxseed oil to get the health benefits.

I usually take a tablespoon or two of flaxseed oil with my protein shakes and I may also add ground flaxseeds to my morning cup of orange juice. 

One of the most popular flaxseed oils on is Barlean’s Organic High Lignan Flax Oil. This product has one of the highest customer reviews with many people pleased with the delicious nutty flavor and the health benefits from the omega 3 fatty acids.


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