Flaxseed Lignans and Breast Cancer: Unveiling the Gut Microbiome Connection 

Flaxseeds Influence Gut Microbiome and May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

A recent study in mice has unveiled a potential link between the gut microbiome, microRNA (miRNA) expression in breast tissue, and the influence of flaxseed lignans (Source: Healthline). Published in Microbiology Spectrum on December 7, the research suggests a connection that could impact breast cancer risk and prevention through dietary intervention.

The study, led by Elena M. Comelli, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, centered on the effects of flaxseed lignans on the gut microbiome of young female mice. Flaxseeds, known for being rich in lignan precursors, are considered the most substantial dietary source, but these compounds are also found in other seeds, whole grains, legumes, fruit, and vegetables.

The researchers examined the microbial composition in the cecum, the initial part of the colon, and discovered alterations in the relationship between the cecal microbiome and miRNA expression in the mammary gland. Mice fed lignan components exhibited specific miRNA responses in the mammary gland, potentially linked to the regulation of genes associated with breast cancer.

The study builds on previous research indicating that postmenopausal women with higher lignan consumption may have a reduced risk of breast cancer. Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD, a professor at the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, suggested that the recent findings might offer a mechanism supporting earlier research.

While the study hints at potential dietary interventions to lower breast cancer risk, experts stress the need for caution. The complex chain of events between miRNA changes and cancer development requires further exploration, both in mice and humans. Additionally, the relevance of microbiota profiles studied in a controlled laboratory setting to the diverse environments humans inhabit remains uncertain.

In a bid to unravel the intricacies of this connection, researchers fed flaxseed lignans to female mice, observing shifts in the gut microbiome and alterations in miRNAs in breast tissue. The results, while promising, underscore the necessity for clinical trials in human subjects to validate the potential benefits of dietary changes in reducing breast cancer risk.

Read Also:

Share This Article:

Harsha Sharma

Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *