The Truth About Flaxseeds & Hormone Management

flax seeds

Flaxseeds are a popular type of seed that is nutrient-dense and fiber-rich. Nutrition aside, flaxseeds contain lignans, a plant-based antioxidant known as a phytoestrogen or plant estrogen.

If you’ve researched treating menopausal symptoms or other female hormone problems, you’ve probably encountered numerous articles touting the beneficial properties of flax’s phytoestrogens. While flax is undoubtedly a nutritious food, its effect on hormones is still in question. There is a considerable divide in the scientific community regarding whether these compounds are beneficial or safe.

The Great Flax Debate

There are generally two schools of belief regarding the benefits of phytoestrogens. This chemical acts like your body’s estrogen when you consume it. While estrogen is beneficial and necessary for health, too much of it is a problem and can increase your risk of developing cancer.

One group of scientists asserts that phytoestrogens can increase the levels of fluctuating estrogen in your blood, which increases the risk of cancer, particularly among women with estrogen dominance. Unfortunately, most of us are already exposed to dangerous quantities of estrogen through unnatural forms like xenoestrogens, often found in personal care and household products, contaminated water, and food packaging.

Another group claims that phytoestrogens can help the body maintain healthy estrogen levels. They explain that the presence of phytoestrogens ensures that estrogen won’t get too high by blocking the body’s estrogen from attaching to receptors.

Is Flaxseed Safe?

Until researchers can pinpoint the underlying mechanism of phytoestrogens, we can’t determine with absolute certainty that flaxseed is safe. Indeed, many women report a significant reduction in hot flashes and other menopausal issues after consuming flax daily. However, other women experience a worsening of symptoms after eating flax.

If you do choose to consume flax, you should exercise caution with your dosage. Some nutritional guides recommend 2-5 tablespoons of flaxseed per day, which is a lot. While most of our ancestors ate flax, they did not have access to this large quantity daily.

If you’re considering incorporating flaxseed into your diet, consult a local nutrition counselor or holistic doctor for advice. If you’re experiencing hormone problems or cancer runs in your family, it may be wise to avoid flax at this time. 

A Cincinnati Holistic Practitioner Can Treat Hormone Issues

Fortunately, flaxseeds aren’t the only option for natural menopause treatment. At Blatman Health and Wellness Center, we’ve successfully utilized various techniques for managing hormones safely and effectively. Some potential treatments include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, nutritional counseling, dietary changes, stress reduction, and herbal supplementation. Talk to one of our integrative professionals for more information.

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