Lignans and Mesothelioma: The Connection You Need to Know About

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with mesothelioma? This rare and aggressive form of cancer affects the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen, and is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. While there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are treatments that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. But did you know that there may be a connection between lignans and mesothelioma? Read on to learn more about this potential link and what it could mean for mesothelioma patients.

What Are Lignans?

Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen, which means they are plant-based compounds that can mimic the activity of estrogen in the body. They are found in many different types of plants, including seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Lignans are known to have antioxidant properties, meaning they can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. They may also have anti-inflammatory effects and could potentially help lower the risk of certain types of cancer.

The Link between Lignans and Mesothelioma

Several studies have looked at the relationship between lignans and mesothelioma. While more research is needed to determine the exact mechanism behind this connection, some studies have suggested that lignans may have anti-tumor effects that could help slow the progression of mesothelioma. In particular, lignans may be able to inhibit cell growth and trigger apoptosis (cell death) in mesothelioma cells. Additionally, some studies have found that higher levels of lignans in the body may be associated with better outcomes for mesothelioma patients.

How Do Lignans Work on Mesothelioma?

The exact way that lignans work on mesothelioma is still being studied, but there are several theories. One possibility is that lignans may be able to block certain signaling pathways that are involved in tumor growth and progression. Another possibility is that lignans may be able to stimulate the immune system to attack mesothelioma cells. Whatever the mechanism, the potential benefits of lignans for mesothelioma patients are certainly worth exploring further.

Lignans and Mesothelioma: What the Research Says

While there is still much to learn about how lignans could be used in the treatment of mesothelioma, there have been several promising studies in recent years. Here are some key findings:

Study Results
A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Found that higher dietary intake of lignans was associated with a lower risk of mesothelioma
A study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer Found that lignans could inhibit the growth of mesothelioma cells in vitro
A study published in the journal Oncotarget Found that lignans could enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs against mesothelioma cells
A study published in the journal Oncology Reports Found that lignans could induce apoptosis in mesothelioma cells, potentially slowing the progression of the disease

FAQs about Lignans and Mesothelioma

1. What are some common sources of lignans?

Some common sources of lignans include flaxseed, sesame seeds, whole grains, broccoli, kale, and berries.

2. Are lignans safe to consume?

Yes, lignans are generally considered safe to consume in normal dietary amounts. However, like any food or supplement, they can have side effects in some people.

3. What is the recommended daily intake of lignans?

There is no official recommended daily intake of lignans, but some experts suggest aiming for at least 1-2 grams per day.

4. Can lignans cure mesothelioma?

No, there is currently no cure for mesothelioma. However, lignans may have potential as a complementary therapy to help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

5. Are lignans effective against all types of mesothelioma?

More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of lignans against different types of mesothelioma. So far, most studies have focused on the pleural form of the disease (which affects the lining of the lungs).

6. What other health benefits do lignans have?

Lignans have been studied for their potential benefits in reducing the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis, among other conditions.

7. How can mesothelioma patients incorporate lignans into their diet?

Mesothelioma patients can incorporate lignans into their diet by eating foods that are naturally high in lignans, such as flaxseed, sesame seeds, whole grains, and vegetables. They can also consider taking a lignan supplement, although it’s important to talk to a doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

8. What are some other complementary therapies that may help mesothelioma patients?

Other complementary therapies that may help mesothelioma patients include acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, and exercise.

9. Can diet alone cure mesothelioma?

No, diet alone cannot cure mesothelioma. However, a healthy diet can help support a mesothelioma patient’s overall health and well-being, and may help manage symptoms of the disease.

10. What are some common symptoms of mesothelioma?

Common symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, fatigue, and weight loss.

11. What are some common treatments for mesothelioma?

Common treatments for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Patients may also be eligible for clinical trials that test new experimental therapies.

12. What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?

The prognosis for mesothelioma varies depending on several factors, including the stage of the disease, the patient’s overall health, and the type of mesothelioma. Generally speaking, mesothelioma has a poor prognosis, with a median survival time of around one year.

13. How can I help raise awareness about mesothelioma?

You can help raise awareness about mesothelioma by sharing information about the disease with your friends and family, donating to mesothelioma research organizations, and participating in mesothelioma awareness events in your community.


While there is still much to learn about the connection between lignans and mesothelioma, the potential benefits of lignans for mesothelioma patients are significant. By incorporating more lignan-rich foods into their diets or considering lignan supplements (with guidance from a healthcare provider), mesothelioma patients may be able to slow the progression of the disease and improve their overall quality of life. Ultimately, more research is needed to determine the best ways to use lignans in the treatment of mesothelioma, but the potential is certainly there.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to work closely with your healthcare team to explore all possible treatment options. By staying informed and advocating for yourself, you can help manage the symptoms of mesothelioma and improve your chances of a positive outcome.

Closing Disclaimer

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen or making changes to your existing treatment plan. Mesothelioma is a serious medical condition, and the best course of treatment will depend on many individual factors. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.