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A: The issue of phytoestrogens is very confusing for all cancer survivors.
Your knowledge of soy products matches our recommendations.
Research on lignans found in flaxseeds is ongoing. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, current research suggests that flaxseed may be protective, especially in post-menopausal women, and consuming flaxseed does not increase risk for breast cancer. Previously, it was thought that the lignans, which are phytoestrogens, would act like estrogen in the body. However, current research indicates that is not the case.
Flaxseed also provides other nutrients, including dietary fiber and omega-3 fats, which are both an important part of a healthy diet. Typically, up to 1-2 tablespoons per day of ground flax seed is suggested.
You may consume pure flaxseed oil if you choose. The oil is stripped of the woody shell, and is not a source of fiber, but is still a good source of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat, which may have cholesterol-lowering properties. Since flaxseed oil is a dense source of calories we suggest limiting amounts to 1-2 tablespoons per day.