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Flaxseed Bioactive Compounds and Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Flaxseed and its bioactive components have been associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer incidence and progression. This review aims to summarize recent research regarding the role of flaxseed and each of its major dietary bioactive components in reducing colorectal cancer.

Recent Findings

In both human and animal model experiments, flaxseed consumption had beneficial effects on colon physiology associated with reduction in colorectal cancer risk or occurrence. Considered separately, each of flaxseed’s major bioactive components, including fiber, alpha-linolenic acid, lignans, and other phytochemicals, is also associated with decreased risk of colonic neoplasms and regulation of cell growth through several potential mechanisms.

Summary

Collectively, experimental data suggests that consumption of flaxseed and/or its bioactive components may reduce colorectal cancer risk by a variety of mechanisms. Future studies should focus on the mechanisms by which whole flaxseed can prevent colorectal cancer.

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Correspondence to Clinton D. Allred.

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Jennifer A.A. DeLuca, Erika L. Garcia-Villatoro, and Clinton D. Allred declare they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Jennifer A.A. DeLuca and Erika L. Garcia-Villatoro are co-first authors

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Integrative Care

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DeLuca, J.A.A., Garcia-Villatoro, E.L. & Allred, C.D. Flaxseed Bioactive Compounds and Colorectal Cancer Prevention. Curr Oncol Rep 20, 59 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11912-018-0704-z

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Keywords

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Flaxseed
  • Fiber
  • Alpha-linolenic acid
  • Lignan
  • Dietary bioactive compounds