Another Study Confirms the Effectiveness of both Flax Oil and Lignans on Reducing Human Breast Cancer Tumors.
Flaxseed (FS), an oilseed containing high amounts of the phytoestrogen lignan, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), and n-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid-rich oil (FO), has been shown to inhibit the growth of established human breast tumors (MCF-7) in ovariectomized (OVX) athymic mice. However, the major FS component responsible for this effect and the mechanism(s) of its action are unclear. Hence, this study determined, in a 2 x 2 factorial design, the effect of SDG and FO, alone or in combination, on the growth of established human estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast tumors and the potential mechanism(s) of its action. OVX mice with established ER+ human breast tumors (MCF-7) were treated for 8 wk with basal diet (BD, control) or BD supplemented with SDG (1 g/kg), FO (38.5 g/kg), or SDG + FO. All treatments reduced the tumor growth, but SDG had the greatest effect primarily through reducing tumor cell proliferation rather than increasing apoptosis. SDG had a main effect in the reduction of PS2, BCL2, and IGF-1R mRNA expression, whereas FO had a main effect only in PAKT reduction. SDG alone also lowered the ERalpha, ERbeta, EGFR, BCL2 mRNA, and PMAPK protein, indicating that its effect involves the modulation of the ER- and growth factor receptor-mediated signaling pathways.