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Topic: Chia Seeds Safe for Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer?

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Jul 4, 2009 11:16AM, edited Jul 4, 2009 11:16AM by Sandra2

Sandra2 wrote:

I have recently heard a lot of positive things about the benefits of chia seeds and yesterday bought a bottle for myself. However, once I got it home started to wonder about its connection to flax seed (which my oncologist suggested I avoid) and whether chia seeds were safe to use if you have been diagnosed with estrogen positive breast cancer. Searching on the Internet did not really produce much helpful information - basically just advertiser's info. Has anyone done this research or spoken to their oncologists about chia seeds?

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Apr 4, 2011 05:48PM pip57 wrote:

This is funny.  I was googling this very topic and this page came up.  Obviously no one had much to say about it when it was started, but maybe somebody will have some info now.

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex

Dx 2/1/2007, IDC, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 4, 2011 05:56PM pip57 wrote:

I did some more research and came up with this article.

"I’ve been talking for a while now about the benefits of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), and in particular flax, fish and evening primrose oils. But some new research is emerging on flax seed oil and its possible link to estrogen dominance, which perhaps makes it a questionable oil to consume on a regular basis.

Estrogen dominance is becoming a huge problem all over the world. We’re consuming way too many estrogens from both obvious and hidden sources which is elevating our estrogen levels by way too much. And it’s not just a female problem either, this is a problem no matter what gender you are because men naturally have the estrogen hormone too.

Before I get onto Chia seeds (which is what this article is supposed to be all about), I’d like to first talk about plastics, because plastics are the biggest culprit of all containing a lot of hidden estrogens. And unfortunately plastic is everywhere and we use so much of it everyday. It may surprise you that all plastic contains estrogens. And the more flexible the plastic the more estrogen it contains.

So if you can, store your food in glass containers, use a glass drinking bottle, and never ever heat your food in a plastic container. I was using those little plastic sandwich bags for a while to store almonds and cashews in my handbag. I’m not going to do that anymore because the flexible plastic bag contains a lot of estrogens. And if you think the estrogens cannot get into your food or liquid, think again because they can.

Why is there estrogen in my flax seed oil?

 

Flax SeedsFlax seed is in fact “linseed” which is what linen is made out of. Linseed contains a very high amount of plant based estrogen and phytoestrogens.

Whether or not flaxseed oil raises your natural estrogen levels is very controversial. Some say that the plant based estrogens in the oil mimic the natural estrogens in our body and therefore raise our estrogen levels. Others say that the phytoestrogens actually level out any estrogen imbalances we have in our body.

I’ve heard both differing opinions from reputable sources, so until I can decide for myself which is the truth, I’m going to stay way from flaxseed oil. So what’s the best alternative? Chia seed.

Why chia seed is so good

Chia is an ancient superfood that is very similar to flax, but without the estrogen and phytoestrogen element. It is a just as good, if not better source of EFA, so will do wonders to your health and to your skin.

Here’s a bit of trivia for you – the chia seeds were originally used by the Mayans as an energy supplement. The running messengers used to carry a little pouch of the seeds around with them. So, chia has been called the “Indian running food”.

And here are some facts for those into food. Chia seeds contain –

  • 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain
  • 5 times the calcium of milk
  • 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas
  • 3 times more iron than spinach
  • and of course, copious amounts of omega-3 and omega-6

How to use Chia in your diet

If you’re currently taking a flax supplement then you can just replace it with a chia supplement if you want. Or you can choose to use raw chia in your cooking. Chia has a very mild, bland taste so you can easily add it to your cooking without it changing the taste. Try adding the seeds to your salad dressing or sprinkling it onto your cereal or oatmeal.

For more extensive information about the benefits of Chia, have a read of this article – The Chia Cheat Sheet"

http://www.highonhealth.org/why-chia-seed-is-a-healthier-option-than-flax-seed/

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex

Dx 2/1/2007, IDC, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 6, 2011 10:40AM CorinneM1 wrote:

Thanks for this information.  I recently purchased a Costco-sized  bag and was questioning whether or not I can even eat this after I purchased it (I too had an ER+ cancer).

I will start adding this to my foods and smoothies.

CorinneM1 ILC Grade 1 Stage 1 ER/PR+ HER neg. BMX, no chemo, no rads, tamoxifen for 5+ years

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Aug 6, 2011 11:52AM, edited Aug 6, 2011 11:55AM by Hindsfeet

I add chia to smoothies, salads, or drink it in water. It has very little or no taste to it...can be slimy. I have a friend who use it for joint problems. She could hardly walk and now she is running a few miles a day due to chia seeds.

BTW...I don't worry about having too much estrogen. It seems as I age that it is disappearing faster than I can take it in :) If you had early cancer most likely the cancer is removed by surgery so it is not an issue to worry about.

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Aug 9, 2011 07:34PM Renrel wrote:

Chia seeds can also be made into a gel by just adding water and letting them sit a bit, then you can add them to hamburger to strech the meal while lowering animal fat and adding all sorts of good stuff to the meal.  Can subsitute for any egg you might use to hold a hamburger together, if you want to get rid of the egg for some reason.  

What could be more important than to Live, Love and Laugh?

Dx 10/1/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 10, 2011 07:20PM MsBliss wrote:

I love chia seeds, but they don't love me back. I have the strangest reaction to them....I get horrible stomach pain, or intestinal pain when I eat them. This never happened with flax or oat bran, just chia seeds! I pureed them and mixed it with water, but developed terrible pain. I re challenged several times, but like clock work, the cramps returned. I was known for having a cast iron stomach, even though I have a history of ulcerative colitis, nothing ever "upset" my stomach, until I met chia. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions on finding a way to re introduce chia because I know it is so good for the body.

Dx 3/09 Triple negative, stg1,SNB0/2, BRCA neg, 1.4cm plus 7mm DCIS, ki67 70-90%, lumpectomy w/re-excision, no chemo/no rads due to delays from secondary health issues; SonoCine every 6 months

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Aug 12, 2011 11:01AM, edited Aug 12, 2011 10:01PM by snow-runner

Ms. Bliss,

Try to ingest chia seeds with more liquid: filtrated soft water. Not water direct from ...but filtrated or even better distilled ( essential for those with beningn or malign tissues ).

ALmost ideal option is tu ingest chia seeds with green leafy fresh juiced  vegetables or wild plants.

1. you pick up the leaves

2. juiced them

3. grind chia seeds in coffee grinder or specialized grinder

   but do it slowly so that seeds wont get hot or too warm and destroy unstable healthy

   unsaturated fats

4. add ground seeds into green juice

   Green juice contains a lot of vitamin E that is anti oxidant and protector of unstable fats even

   throug metabolic pathway during travelling stomach, and intestinal.

How to made juices?

In your case when mentioning symptoms of stomach ( ulceritis ) you must be very carefull about

gastro acids and how to rejuvenate stomach linings. 

Please go and see if you can pick up young blackberry leaves with small thorns  and raspberry

leaves. You can add also nettle leaves and green part of the carrot and green part of the celery.

For better taste you can add some juiced pine apple. After the juice is made with juicer please filtrate juice once more to remove any aditional fibres. Use more green pine apple than yellow.

You can put seeds in this juice but not every day. For example every second day . two big spoon per half litter of juice in the morning.

At the evening drink only juice and every another second weekend.

For inflammation of intestinal and stomach use tea of Iseland moss or lat. Cetraria Islandica.

If you are dealing with acidic body consider some oral form of zeolit powder to add to some juices.

There is possibility to prepare smoothies but to my experiences juices are more effective specially in simple fast protocols or other more enrich diet like green leaves vegetable juices.

There are other juices very valuable for stomach and intestinal inflammation.

For stomach inflammations please use cabbage juice. Use a lot of hiccory in your food salads. The best option is without any vinegar, salt, oil just raw.

Good idea is also to grow wheatgrass baby plants to the height of 10 to 15cm for juicing and than drinking with ground chia seeds. Another idea is sprouted and grown sunflower seeds.

Sonflower greeines are also suitable for healing protocols specially in intestinal inflammation scernarious. Also rich with vitamin E when making juice what makes this juice apropriate for

adding chia seeds. The amount of Wheatgrass or barley grass juice or juice from sunflower greenies  because of its potency andneeded amounts of plants is enough in much few amounts then other green leafy vegetable.

Suggesting you to take some steps and organize yourself to switch to raw vegetable juices al least 1 litter per day or even more, Chia seeds is almost ideal option for intaking all necessary fats and proteins. Please take care in other daily food: no fried food, for cooking use only coconut fat, not cook to much. Use as much as possible in raw form at the beginining mostly as juice or smoothy. Be careful at the herbs and spices. Some of the are very phytoystrogen potent. Remove most of the legumes from the food (specially soya) because of phytoestrogens.

I agree with those who claim flaxseed is too unstable  for using in healing manner.

For stomach and other bening or malign tissues:

try to sprout as much as you can broccoli and radish sprouts. Add them and eat as salads or in pancakaes made from no eggs or milk but on buckwheat flour added with corn or millet.

But the first rule for some effective start healing program diet is:

- remove gluten (cereals as wheat ,...)

- remove diary ( milke, products )

- remove eggs and meat.

Later when you are stable you can consider what will it return to your daily diet.

But at the beginning base your diet on vegetable juices, chia seeds, smoothies on green leaves, sprouts, buckwheat ( has no phytoestrogens ) flour, millet,...maybe quinoa, amaranth, of course chia but in raw form, rice,no sweeteners-. Guess you already avoid fruit because of fruit acids that are potentially harmfull for inflammations. Step by step you ll be able to add some fruits to green vegetable juices but in steps.

And very valuable: a lot of filtrated water, not bottled one, filtrated ..maybe you should consider to buy destillator for oral distilled water use.

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Jun 4, 2012 01:31PM, edited Jun 4, 2012 05:05PM by Moderators

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Jun 8, 2012 09:38AM Shayne wrote:

My naturopath told me freshly ground flax was great - but not flax oil, or buying already ground flax seeds.  When I asked about chia seeds, she said yes, and she did know i was estrogen positive.

I am not a doctor, scientist or expert. My comments are based on my own experience with my own individual diagnosis. Do your own research, get a second opinion, choose the best professionals/specialists and be your own health care advocate!

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Jul 17, 2012 10:48PM purple32 wrote:

Here we go again!

More confusion. A google search said :  "One of the best things about these seeds is that they are extremely nutritious, containing around 22% of protein, 35% of healthy fats (Omega 3, Omega 6)"

I thought we were supposed to AVOID the omega 6.

Anyone ?

Lymphedema on LEFT. NO radiation. 2 clean nodes. purple32. Hope is our light ... in the night.

Dx 3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/01/2012 Lumpectomy (Left)
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Jul 18, 2012 02:35AM Hindsfeet wrote:

You will have a stomach ache if you don't let your chia seeds sit in water for several minutes to 30 minutes. Rather than swelling in the water before drinking it ... the seeds will swell in your stomach.

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Jul 18, 2012 01:36PM pip57 wrote:

I have been told that about soaking the seeds too.  However, we sprinkle them on our veggies every night and eat them right away with no problems at all.

 Purple, we don't need to completely avoid omega 6.  We need to make sure we have a healthy balance between the two.  The ratio differs depending on who's giving the advice but I generally try to keep it 75% or more of the omega 3. 

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex

Dx 2/1/2007, IDC, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 18, 2012 02:00PM, edited Jul 18, 2012 02:39PM by kayb

This article is from LiveStrong. It says the lignans in chia seeds interfere with estrogen effects on cancer. Which, I think, is also what Shayne's NP is saying about flax seed being ok but not the oil (fewer lignans).

Jun 26, 2011 | By Tina Bernstein


Chia seeds come from the chia plant, also known as Salvia columbariae. Native to southern Mexico, the seeds were used historically as a source of endurance energy food for runners. At time of publication, chia seeds are growing in popularity due to their complete nutritional profile of fiber, phyto nutrients such as lignans, protein, vitamins and minerals.

LIGNANS
According to Jason Apfel M.S., graduate of Columbia University's Institute of Human Nutrition, "lignans exhibit a strong antioxidant role in the human body in terms of their dietary consumption. Antioxidants function by scavenging free radicals which are thought to play a role in many diseases." Apfel said lignan is effective in reducing systemic inflammation, as well as interfering with cancer-promoting effects of estrogen in the body and the formation of multiple cancer types."

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
A total of 21 percent of a chia seed's nutrition comes from amino acids, the building blocks for protein synthesis in humans. Chia seed is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially ALA, an "essential" acid that the body cannot produce but must obtain by eating foods containing it. Chia seeds are also rich in fiber, accounting for 38 percent of chia seed's nutritional composition. Fiber is made up of non-digestible carbohydrate and plant lignan.

OTHER INGREDIENTS
In a study published in the March 2005 issue of "Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine", researchers at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy found that species of chia found in Asia and the United States contain compounds in their roots that are beneficial to treat symptoms of stroke and heart attack. Chia roots are a different part of the plant; however, the studies reveal levels of tanshinones, cryptotanshinone, and miltionones as the "active medicines ... able to prevent clotting and restore blood flow in stroke".

USAGE & DOSAGE
Chia seeds sell in health food and ethnic grocery stores, including Hispanic and middle eastern speciality markets. Two tbsp. added to a smoothie give it texture, because the seeds turn gelatinous when they are soaked. This makes chia seed good for pudding, granola, and homemade bread mixtures too, especially for those on a gluten-free diet.

REFERENCES
ChiaCorp: Nutrition and Health
PubMed: Salvia Columbariae Contains Tanshinones; Adams, Wall, Garcia
Article reviewed by Geoffrey Darling Last updated on: Jun 26, 2011

DX May/2010, synchronous bilateral cancer, triple positive

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Jul 18, 2012 02:24PM pip57 wrote:

Thanks.  Good info.

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex

Dx 2/1/2007, IDC, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 10, 2012 07:48PM Soyaandpepper wrote:

So am I getting this right? From all the above posts, chia seeds are good for us er+ while flax seeds is not? Its all very confusing.Something is good while at the time, other studies show that same thing is NOT.

Dx 4/13/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+Surgery 05/07/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Nov 17, 2013 04:11PM louisat1111 wrote:

I was told that because chia seeds are seeds, that they contain growth hormones in order to grow. Is this true, and is there any concerns regarding cancer growing/spreading.

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Nov 17, 2013 06:00PM Blessings2011 wrote:

Well, I'm 100% ER+, and when I asked my MO (a dedicated researcher and committed MD) about both chia and flax, she said there was no credible research evidence to justify eliminating them, so not to worry.

With contradictory information being published everywhere, all the time, I have to choose to believe one person. For now, that person will be my MO. I trust that she will be up on the latest studies.

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/05/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/22/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 09/05/2012 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara
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Nov 17, 2013 06:42PM Rdrunner wrote:

Here is a good and reputable website that you can get all the latest info and research on this sort of stuff

http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/

The issue with chia and flax and soya is that they are phytoestrogens.. this website will explain what they are and why the concern. As a conference recently, a pharmacist from Europe (there they have to study Botany here in north american they dont) talked about these and their safety. No evidence re flax, chia didnt come up. Flax though to get full benefit buy whole seeds and ground them yourself.. keep in fridge or they will go rancid. She did advise to stay away from soy and soya products as much as possible ( soya bean oil or soy lecthin is in everything almost) because there is conflicting research so better to err on the side of caution.

Dx 10/23/2012, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIb, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+Dx 11/23/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage IIb, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+Dx 11/23/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+Dx 11/23/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 11/23/2012 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 02/06/2013 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolHormonal Therapy 05/01/2013 TamoxifenSurgery 09/12/2013 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right)