Flax seed oil has many benefits. It’s ideal for treating skin conditions such as eczema, and used internally it can help to regulate blood pressure.

Now there’s another reason to incorporate this healthy oil into your lifestyle, as scientists have found that flax seeds can help to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer in later life.

Researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg found that foods containing special plan compounds called phytoestrogens can work to kill off cancer tells and halt the growth of secondary tumours.

The most important of these compounds are lignans, which are found in abundance in flax seeds and flax seed oil.

When they enter the bowel after consumption, they are subsequently transformed into enterolactone.

Over a three-year period, the scientists checked the blood samples of over 1,000 women who tested positive for post-menopausal breast cancer to monitor their enterolactone levels.

Those with the highest levels were found to be at a 40 per cent reduced risk of death than those with the lowest levels.

"We now have first clear evidence showing that lignans lower not only the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer, but also the mortality risk," said study author Professor Jenny Chang-Claude.

The results of the research come after a study by scientists at Marshall University in the US found that walnuts could also have a protective effect against breast cancer.

Nuts in general are viewed by many nutritionists as something of a superfood, and nut oils are known to have numerous health benefits.

While they can be used externally on the skin, many are also suitable for cooking. Rapeseed oil, for example, is highly recommended for frying as it contains less saturated fat than olive oil.

Posted by Matilda Jones