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Flax Oil And Gynecomastia

Q: Dear Will, I remember in your book "Priming the Anabolic Environment" you recommended flax oil as a possible way to treat gynecomastia or "bitch tits" in men and I know you recommend flax oil losing fat and general health also. Would flax have equal benefits for athletic women like me who lift weights and do you still think it helps with gyno?

Sincerely, Susan Williams, NY NY 11201

A: Dear Susan, My recommendations regarding flax oil and other oils high in omega- 3 fatty acids (i.e. fish oils, etc) is the same for women as it is for men. I have found a few table spoons of flax oil per day for most people causes a reduction in bodyfat and improvements in overall health.

Interestingly, a recent study looking at ground flax seeds found effects that are particularly important to women, but may also have applications to men with "gyno." This study found that flaxseed enriched muffins fed to women reduced cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth as well as the drug Tamoxifen (Nolvadex to you muscle heads out there)!

Researchers presented their finding recently at the 23rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Although we have many animal studies and in vitro (test tube) studies showing various supplements may effect certain cancers, this is on of the first to show a dietary product like flax can directly effect human breast cancer.

Flax seed is commonly found in the diets of people in several parts of Europe, but people in North America do not generally get flaxseed in their diets. As most people know who have read up on flax in my articles and books, it's a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which play a crucial role in thousands if functions in the human body. However, according to these researchers, the rationale for flaxseed reducing cancer tumor growth in this study may be flax's source of phytoestrogens ( plant precursors of mammalian lignans).

As already mentioned, prior studies found flaxseed reduced the number and growth of tumors in animals. This looked the effects of flaxseed in 29 postmenopausal and 10 premenopausal patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer. They looked at the effects of dietary flaxseed on tumor biology and growth. The patients were randomized to receive a daily muffin containing 25 g of ground flaxseed or a control muffin (containing no flax). As expected, the 29 postmenopausal women saw significant reductions in tumor cell proliferation compared to controls not getting the flax. According to the researchers conducting the study, the effects are similar to those previously seen with Tamoxifen. Amazing!

We all know that many bodybuilders use Tamoxifen to treat or prevent gyno. As expected, there were no significant adverse effects in the women eating the flax enriched muffins. There saw no significant differences between the two groups caloric and macronutrient intake either . The researchers suggest that the mechanism of action may be through the antiestrogenic effects of the lignans found in flax seeds. In my opinion, they may be over looking the cancer preventing effects of the omega-3 fatty acids found in the flax also. The study authors mention that consumers have been buying flaxseed oil capsules from health food stores for years. However, in order to get the most benefit, they recommend consuming ground flaxseed rather than consuming whole seeds or taking capsules. I am not sure I can agree with this advice and it seems to me just another double standard of the supplements vs "real" food bias seen with many researchers and doctors. For example, many companies sell high lignan flax oil. The implication of the above study is obvious for women, but men reading this should see the clear potential benefits: flax seeds and high lignan flax oil may be a natural anti estrogen as powerful as Nolvadex and would explain why I have seen reductions in gyno in men taking high amounts of flax oil. Again, it appears I was at least 5 years ahead of the curve on this (patting myself on the back as I write this!).
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Will Brink writes for numerous health, fitness, medical, and bodybuilding publications. His articles can be found in Life Extension Magazine, Muscle n Fitness, Inside Karate, Exercise For Men Only, Oxygen, Women's World, The Townsend Letter For Doctors and many more. His website is http://www.brinkzone.com
Article Source: http://thephantomwriters.com
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