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Flax: Breakthrough Cancer Treatment

by Health Sciences Institute,
Members Alert for June 2008, Vol. 12, No. 12

It was one of those moments that makes working for HSI so rewarding and exciting. I had received an email out of the blue, telling me about a new discovery with results that were nothing short of astounding...

  • Stage 4 cancer patients cancer free within two months. Tumor metastasis reduced by 82%.1
  • A human study in which 3% of cancer cells were flat out killed. In thirty days.2
  • In another study, mice fed this substance ended up with half the tumors of the control group.3

Oh, and the incredible results weren't limited to cancer. People with Type 2 diabetes have stopped needing shots of insulin. Men with enlarged prostates have started sleeping through the night. This intriguing email was from Wendy Selvig of the AIDS Research Assistance Institute-a nonprofit organization in Mansfield, TX. And as much as Wendy's email got my heart racing, it was tempered with a strong dose of skepticism. With HSI's worldwide reputation for uncovering the best health breakthroughs, we receive word of new products every single day. And we are extremely careful about choosing only the very best to introduce to you. So I immediately picked up the phone and gave Wendy a call. And the story she told me of an all-natural disease-killing dynamo backed up by some very impressive science was astounding. But it was the source of this miracle cure that just about made me drop the phone.

The latest breakthrough in cancer treatment is...flax?!

Wait, wake up; I can hear you snoring. Of course you've heard of flax seed. Nothing new there, right? But, this isn't the same flax seed you've been seeing on the health food store shelves. In fact, it's not flax seed at all. The breakthrough that takes aim at cancer cells like a heat-seeking missile is Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans. Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans are not flax seeds. Rather, they are concentrated directly using a special process from flax seed shells, or hulls, which typically don't make it into the bags of flax seed in the store.

Which is a shame, because it turns out the vast majority of the disease- fighting lignans in the flax seed are located in the hull that encases the seed. The nutrients contained in flax seeds are highly concentrated in the shells - one teaspoon of Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans contains the nutritional equivalent of two gallons of flax seed. Yes, gallons. And flax seed oil? Forget it. There are practically no lignans contained in the oil.

You might be wondering what these lignans are, exactly. Lignans are a group of chemical compounds found in plants. They're one of the major classes of phytoestrogens (you might have seen that word before in discussions about soy), which are chemicals that act as antioxidants. Flax seed is the richest source of lignans in the plant kingdom, containing up to 800 times more than any other plant source. There are 27 different lignans in the flax seed and scientists believe they all work together to provide their amazing health benefits..

The major lignan in flax seed is called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). It's actually a lignan precursor, which means its power isn't unlocked until it is metabolized by your body. In the intestines, SDG becomes two lignans. These lignans have the power to wipe out cancer, as well as do battle against diabetes, shrink enlarged prostates, boost the immune system, in fact, as my research went on, I found there's not much these lignans can't do.

A new process unlocks this Superfood's disease-fighting prowess.

Though scientists have known for some time that the flax seed hulls have an amazing nutritional profile, they've been at a loss as to how to unlock those nutrients. Finally, a farmer by the name of Curtis Rangeloff invented a chemical-free method of mechanically separating the lignan-rich hulls from the rest of the flax. The Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans sold through the AIDS Research Institute boast a pure lignan content of up to 65 percent. Each scoop of the product contains 150-300 mg of SDG per serving. That's 70 times the amount of SDG typically contained in the same amount of traditional ground flax seed.

In addition to their lignan content, flax seed hulls contain high levels of omega-3s, as well as off-the-charts antioxidants. To put it in perspective, kale has one of the highest ORAC values (this is the measurement of a food's antioxidant content) at 1,770 per 100 grams. Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans? They come in at a whopping 19,600 per 100 grams. The hulls also contain 4.3 g of fiber and 2.8 g of protein in each tablespoon. And while the nutritional value of Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans is certainly a bonus, the true value of the product is in its promise as a potent cancer-killer.

The evidence I found for SDG's effects on cancer is nothing short of incredible. The most exciting study was carried out in Canada on a group of postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Each day for a month, the women in the test group ate a flaxseed muffin containing a predetermined concentration of SDG. After only one month, the growth of the cancer cells was reduced by 34.2%. Even better, 31% of cancer cells were completely killed, and the expression of the cancer growth receptor Her2 (c-erB2) decreased by 71%.2

Her2 is part of a family of genes that help to regulate cell growth. Some breast cancers, for reasons no one really understands, undergo a gene amplification. So, instead of having two gene copies of the Her2 gene as in a normal cell, there are multiple copies. This results in cell growth regulation going haywire. Tumors grow more quickly, are more aggressive, and are less sensitive to chemotherapy. This can also occur in other cancers such as ovarian cancer and stomach cancer. It seems that SDG is able to hinder this process considerably.

Driving cancer cells to mass suicide.

In two studies on breast cancer cells implanted into immune deficient mice, flax lignans again proved deadly to cancer. Both tumor growth and metastasis were significantly reduced. In one of the studies, metastasis to the lungs was reduced by 82 percent. The average number of tumors was also considerably lower in the test group than in the control group.1 The promising studies don't stop at breast cancer. A study in California demonstrated that SDG reduced risk of endometrial cancer in some women by 32 percent. This reduced risk was most evident among postmenopausal women who consumed high levels of both isoflavones and lignans. 4 Other studies have shown similar reduced risk for uterine and ovarian cancers.

A clinical trial in Canada found that higher dietary lignan intake was linked to considerable reduction in colorectal cancer risk.5 And, according to studies with human colon cancer cells, lignans stunt the growth of tumor cells and actually drive them to what can only be described as mass suicide.6 Supplementation with SDG reduced tumors significantly in mice with melanoma. The average number of tumors in the control group was 62, while the average number in the groups of mice receiving SDG was around half that. Tumor size was also decreased.3

Even the Mayo Clinic, the American Cancer Society, and the FDA acknowledge the cancer-fighting power of flax lignans. The Mayo Clinic says flax seed lignans may inhibit the growth of some breast cancers, and the American Cancer Society cites a study in which the growth rate of cancer cells was slowed in men suffering from prostate cancer. Perhaps most surprising of all is the support flax lignans have gotten from, get this, the FDA. Apparently even the FDA can't miss a sure thing. They have stated that flax seed lignans have anti-tumor activity and are potentially the richest source of phytoestrogens, and that their significant ability to prevent cancer is recognized by the National Cancer Institute.7

A survivor's tale: Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans beat back cancer for hopeless' cases.

Personally, I find that one thing speaks even more loudly than the many exciting studies I've talked about so far. And that is the words straight from the mouths of people who have seen their lives changed as a result of including flax lignans in their diets. A 52-year-old woman started taking Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans two years after she was diagnosed with bone cancer. At that point, she was only able to walk with crutches, and painfully at that.

After just one month with the lignans, she stopped taking her pain medication, ditched the crutches, and found her energy level returning to normal. And then there's the story of 84-year-old Tony. Last September, he was told his lung cancer was so advanced that he wouldn't make it to Christmas. His daughter-in-law was distraught, knowing her daughter's December wedding would be a sad event without him. She learned about the Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans from a friend and had some sent to Tony.

Come December, he was a happy guest at his granddaughter's wedding. When one of his doctors found out that he had been treating his cancer with Concentrate Flax Hull Lignans, she became angry with him. She was convinced that the cancer had spread throughout both lungs and his esophagus. She thought more "aggressive steps" should have been taken. However, the doctor had to eat her words when a scan showed the cancer had not spread and actually was reduced to one tiny nodule in his lung. This was after Tony had been taking the Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans for only six months. These are just two of the many stories that demonstrate the incredible healing power of flax lignans.

If its power against cancer isn't enough, that's just the start.

Amazingly, the scientific evidence for Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans doesn't stop at its cancer-fighting abilities. Diets rich in foods containing plant lignans have long been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. In a 12-year study of Finnish men, it was found that those with the highest intake of plant lignans were significantly less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than their counterparts who ate the least amount of foods containing plant lignans.8

Flax lignans have also been shown to suppress the development of atherosclerosis (chronic inflammation of the arteries due to an accumulation of plaque) in a study on rabbits. The development of atherosclerosis in rabbits treated with the lignans was reduced by 34.4 percent. The lignans also lowered LDL cholesterol and raised levels of HDL cholesterol.9 In a study concerning Native American postmenopausal women, it was found that flax seed lowered LDL cholesterol by 10%.10 Mind you, that was just with flax seed, not the nutritionally rich hulls.

There is discussion in the scientific community that flax lignans may help to lower sugar levels in people with diabetes. While there are no specific studies to this effect, people who are living with diabetes have been vocal about the results they've seen taking Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans. One woman noticed that her blood sugar has been regular, and that she's been feeling healthier in general.

A 26-year-old man who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few years ago has been struggling to manage his illness ever since. Unable to keep his blood sugar down, he watched helplessly as it regularly spiked to 600, despite taking 40 units of insulin with every shot. Two weeks after he began including Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans in his diet, he noticed a change in how he felt. Now, his blood sugar stays under 200, and he hasn't had to give himself a shot in two months.

Finally, no more late-night bathroom trips.

If you're living with an enlarged prostate, you know what agony it can be. A recent study demonstrated that flax lignans could reduce prostate size. Rats given the human equivalent of 50 mg per day of SDG (remember, Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans contains up to 300 mg per serving) had significantly smaller prostates than those without the SDG supplementation. The SDG didn't just stop prostate growth-it actually helped reduce the size of the prostate.11

Lee, who describes himself as having a "bad prostate," has been using Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans for a couple of months. He has been making less and less trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and says he generally feels better. His wife is happy, too with Lee getting so little sleep, he'd been "a real grouch," and she jokes that she may keep him if the Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans keep working!

G.E. wrote about her husband, Hugh, who suffers from both an enlarged prostate and irregular heartbeat. She was amazed when, after only two weeks, there was a complete reversal in Hugh's nightly routine. She said he doesn't get up more than once a night, and his heart has been beating steadily.

Previously a candidate for a pacemaker, Hugh reports his doctor has not mentioned the surgery since he started taking the Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans. Rather, his doctor was flat-out astonished at his progress, stating he'd never seen such a dramatic improvement. At 71, Hugh is now "bouncing along and mowing and putting up hay and working with his horses and cattle."

Though there are no conclusive studies concerning flax lignans and prostate cancer, there are a few that are promising. In a trial using mice, flax inhibited the growth and development of prostate cancer. In a study of 25 men who were scheduled for prostatectomy, supplementation with flax brought significant changes in serum cholesterol, total testosterone, and the free androgen index. Researchers concluded that flax lignans may be a very beneficial food for men battling prostate cancer.12

Fight the flu with a supercharged immune system.

All of what I've just reported was enough to convince me to buy my own supply of Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans. But, as I delved even deeper, I began to uncover more amazing benefits to a diet that includes flax lignans. The effect of flax lignans on the immune system is well documented. The AIDS Research Assistance Institute, which sells the Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans, is a nonprofit organization. All of the proceeds from the sale of the product go to bringing it to orphanages and clinics in Africa, where HIV and AIDS run rampant. What they've seen there is nothing short of incredible. Children who were drastically underweight are gaining both weight and energy, and aren't getting the colds and flu infections they once constantly suffered from, according to Emma Fishlock, a nurse working in Swaziland. These children are rising from their deathbeds to return to school.

In a 90-day anecdotal test on 100 people with HIV (75 percent exhibiting full AIDS symptoms), 97 percent reported positive health changes, with energy and appetites increasing. Most amazing is the fact that, after 6 weeks, 28 percent had viral loads drop to non-detectible levels. Their supercharged immune systems were fighting the virus like they never had before.13 And it works against another virus, too As an HSI member, you know that flu shots don't actually do much for preventing the flu, and at their worst are actually harmful. And flu drugs? Forget it! The virus builds resistance almost as soon as the drugs are put on the market. In 2005, 14.5 percent of flu viruses were resistant to major flu drugs. That might not sound like a lot, but compare it to the fact that only 1.9 percent of flu viruses were resistant just one year earlier. Luckily, it seems flax lignans can do the same thing for influenza that they are doing for the HIV virus in Africa.

When a virus enters the cells of the body, it stimulates hormones that activate the gene for p53. When this gene is activated, it actually induces virally infected cells to shut down, thereby preventing the virus from spreading. If this is activated shortly after infection, further viral replication is completely stopped. Based upon recent studies, influenza virus infections can be stopped in this way. Flax lignans, through a series of interactions with the inner workings of the body's cells, can increase the level of p53 in cells. Long story short, flax lignans can actually help to both prevent flu infections and fight those that already exist. And the amazing abilities of flax lignans don't end there, Canadian study also suggests that SDG may have a therapeutic role in treating lupus. A Dutch human study showed that flax lignans could be the answer for men and women with hair loss and thinning hair. Yet another, this one on rats, showed potential for liver protection. Citations available on HSI website.


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