URBANA, Ill., May 11 (UPI) -- A U.S. researcher says a flaxseed diet helped lessen the severity of ovarian cancer in hens.
Janice Bahr of the University of Illinois said flaxseed -- a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid -- has already been shown to inhibit colon, breast, skin and lung cancers. She is a co-author of a study that linked flaxseed added to the diet to increased survival times in chickens with ovarian cancer.
"The chicken is the only animal that spontaneously develops ovarian cancer on the surface of the ovaries like humans," Bahr said in a statement.
The study, published in Gynecologic Oncology, found hens fed the flaxseed-enriched diet for 1 year had a significant reduction in late-stage ovarian tumors. The hens fed the control diet had more late-stage tumors and the cancer was more likely to spread.
The researchers also found hens fed flaxseed were more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Both diets had equal caloric content, but the flaxseed-fed hens weighed less at six months than the control-fed hens, the study said.