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Do Phytoestrogens Cause Breast Cancer

Osteoporosis Prevention In Women

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Other studies show that phytoestrogens could help prevent bone loss in aging women. Natural estrogen is known to help maintain normal bone density. When women age, estrogen levels drop, making them more vulnerable to osteoporosis.

Because phytoestrogens act much like estrogen, taking them may stop this from happening. Still, more research is needed before a doctor would advise this use.

Phytoestrogens Estrogen Rich Food


Estrogen is increasingly recognized as a cause of breast cancer . Both elevated concentrations of estrogen produced by body and received with food are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer .

Phytoestrogens are structurally estrogen-like chemicals found in plant foods such as beans, seeds and grains. Foods made from soybeans have some of the highest levels of phytoestrogens. In laboratory studies it was shown that phytoestrogens can bind to estrogen receptors and either produce or inhibit estrogen effects.

FlaxseedsFlaxseeds are generally ground and used in breads, cereals and salads to boost the absorption rate. Flaxseeds are the number one way to help get more estrogen into the body. Flaxseeds are the source of omega-3s and are high in fiber.Flaxseeds have the most quantity of phytoestrogens about 380 mcg per 100 g.

ChickpeasChickpeas are a natural source of phytoestrogen. Chickpeas are also high in fiber and protein, which makes them a great choice if youre looking to reduce your meat consumption.

PeasPeas contain not only phytoestrogen but also minerals like magnesium, iron and potassium. Peas are full of fiber and are a surprising source of Vitamin C.

Sesame seedsSesame seeds contain phytoestrogens. They are also loaded with fiber, and they are also a great source of minerals .One ounce of sesame seeds contains about 8000 mcg of phytoestrogens per 100g.

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Do Phytoestrogens Cause Breast Cancer

There is no cause for alarm. Many things can cause breast cancer. But we arent necessarily the go-to source for this and you should always, as we constantly preach, consult your doctor before any change in your diet.

However, a 2007 study by the Journal of Clinical Oncology argues that phytoestrogens behave like estrogen when your levels are low, and not like estrogen with your levels are high. That means that phytoestrogens may have breast cancer fighting properties.

You can do your own research and we generally believe phytoestrogens to be safe in regards to breast cancer, but please, please consult your physician.

Most breast enlargement supplements utilize phytoestrogens in their formulaand were no different.

Phytoestrogens are vital to natural breast growth as youve just read. They are also beneficial in more ways than breast growth, however, as having healthy amounts of estrogen in your system is great for a womans reproductive health in general. Theres nothing to not like about them!

Do yourself a favor if youre looking to increase the size of your breasts naturally: exercise right, eat right, and educate yourself about phytoestrogens. If youve gotten this far, youre already a third of the way to naturally larger breasts. Add a daily supplement into your lifestyle routine to help promote healthy breast tissue, try Bust Bunny today using coupon code phytoestrogens for 10% off or to have your coupon instantly applied.


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Who Is Most Likely To Receive Benefits From Phytoestrogens

The link between phytoestrogens and a decreased risk of developing breast cancer is most commonly seen in people who have been consuming phytoestrogens through their daily diet since childhood., Asian diets generally incorporate more soy products than Western diets do throughout childhood and adulthood, allowing for more exposure to a balanced diet including phytoestrogens and the potential benefits they produce with respect to breast cancer.,

Breast Cancer And Phytoestrogens

Five mechanisms for epigenetic alterations in breast ...

Thanks to much advanced medical technologies, nowadays it is possible to make proper analysis and discover the type of breast cancer it is absolutely crucial for future treatments and prevention of breast cancer recurrences.

There are different types of breast cancer:

  • Endocrine receptor-positive About 80% of all breast cancers are ER-positive. That means the cancer cells grow in response to the hormone estrogen. About 65% of these are also PR-positive. They grow in response to another hormone, progesterone.
  • HER2-positiveIn about 20% of breast cancers, the cells make too much of a protein known as HER2. These cancers tend to be aggressive and fast-growing.
  • Triple positive: positive for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and HER2This type is the combination of two previous types.
  • Triple negative: not positive for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and HER2About 10-20% of breast cancer cases are known as triple negative because they dont have not only estrogen and progesterone receptors but also dont over-express the HER2 protein. Most breast cancers associated with the gene BRCA1 are triple negative.

For all mentioned types of breast cancer medical approaches for surgery and radiation was very similar and even sometimes the same. But approaches for chemotherapy and future hormone therapy are very specific and different. Important to mention that future anticancer diet is also different depending on the type of breast cancer cells.

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Rna Interference And Transfection Reagents

A pool of four DAXX small interfering RNAs were used to artificially knockdown DAXX expression. These sequences include DAXXi-A , DAXXi-B , DAXXi-C , DAXXi-D , which were purchased from Dharmacon GE Life Sciences . A non-targeting scrambled control siRNA was purchased from Qiagen . The transfection reagent Lipofectamine RNAiMAX was purchased from Thermo Fisher Scientific . Transfection conditions consisted of using a ratio of 1:1 with 10nM of appropriate siRNA according to the manufacturers protocol. Cells were incubated in transfection medium for 2 days for all experiments.

How Can I Avoid Highly Processed Phytoestrogens

Since highly processed and concentrated phytoestrogens may have different effects on breast tumor cells, it is best to avoid highly processed soy. Limit intake of concentrated isoflavones, including genistein, in favor of less-processed options such as tofu, edamame and tempeh.


Sakamoto, Takako et al. âEffects of diverse dietary phytoestrogens on cell growth, cell cycle and apoptosis in estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer cells.â The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 21, 9 : 856-64. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2009.06.010.

Andres, Susanne et al. âRisks and benefits of dietary isoflavones for cancer.â Critical Reviews in Toxicology 41, 6 : 463-506. doi:10.3109/10408444.2010.541900.

Seibold, Petra et al. âEnterolactone concentrations and prognosis after postmenopausal breast cancer: assessment of effect modification and meta-analysis.â International Journal of Cancer 135, 4 : 923-33. doi:10.1002/ijc.28729.

Rice, Suman, and Saffron A Whitehead. âPhytoestrogens and breast cancerâpromoters or protectors?.â Endocrine-Related Cancer 13, 4 : 995-1015. doi:10.1677/erc.1.01159.

Xiong, Xiang-Yang et al. âInhibitory Effects of Enterolactone on Growth and Metastasis in Human Breast Cancer.â Nutrition and Cancer 67, 8 : 1324-32. doi:10.1080/01635581.2015.1082113.

Shu, Xiao Ou et al. âSoy food intake and breast cancer survival.â JAMA 302, 22 : 2437-43. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1783.

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Association Between Soy Foods And Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women in 2020. The incidence of breast cancer has slightly increased by 0.3% per year in recent years . It is most common in women aged between 20-59 years. In addition, breast cancer accounts for 30% of all female cancers . Many breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive breast cancer and as mentioned before, soy foods contain isoflavones that act as phytoestrogens. Hence, one may fear whether soy food intake is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer . Let us find out what the studies say!

Phytoestrogens Oestrone Sulfatase And Sulfotransferase

Discover the odd truth behind isoflavones and breast cancer

Oestrone sulfatase that converts E1S to oestrone may be more important for generating oestradiol in breast tissue compared with the aromatase pathway . Despite this, comparatively few studies have investigated the effects of phytoestrogens on either ETS or oestrogen sulfotransferase , the latter catalyzing the sulfation of oestrone. Early studies reported that quercetin, genistein, daidzein, and other flavonoids inhibited hepatic ETS, with quercetin being the most potent phytoestrogen . In contrast, daidzein was reported to have no effect on ETS although sulfoconjugates of this phytoestrogen inhibited ETS . The effects of several dietary flavonoids, including quercetin, genistein, daidzein, and equol, on sulfotransferases have also been investigated and they inhibited hepatic oestrogen/androgen sulfotransferase with IC50s in the nanomolar range . Although the reported inhibitory potency of these compounds varied between studies, taken together the evidence shows that phytoestrogens have an overall inhibitory activity on enzymes involved in the interconversion of E1S and oestrone. In addition, dietary flavonoids can be sulfated by several human sulfotransferases, including oestrogen sulfatase . This sulfation may further influence the bioavailability of endogenous oestrogens and alter the ratio of active oestrogens and inactive oestrogen sulfates.

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Cycloheximide Daxx Protein Decay

MCF-7 cells at a density of 1×106 cells were grown in 0, 5nM E2, E2+100nM fulvestrant, 100nM NG, or NG+fulvestrant for 24h, following which, cyclohexamide was added to the growth medium to form a final concentration of 10µM in the presence or absence of the proteasome inhibitor MG132 . Cells were incubated for their specified times and total protein was isolated and processed to create 20g protein lysates as described in the Western Blot Analysis methods. The relative amounts of DAXX for each experimental condition were determined by running the lysates on an 8% Tris-glycine gel as described in the Western Blot Analysis methods. These experiments were conducted in triplicate. Densitometry analysis of the Western blot was done using ImageJ software and the total DAXX protein density was plotted as a ratio of DAXX/ACTIN. The half-life of DAXX for each CHX experiment and condition was then determined by nonlinear regression analysis followed by one phase decay using GraphPad Prism 8. The determined half-life for each independent experiment was analyzed for statistically significant differences between the treatments using a One-Way ANOVA.

How To Avoid Xenoestrogens

The good news is there are powerful ways to drastically reduce the amount of estrogen-like compounds you eat and absorb. To start to balance hormones naturally, here are some of my most important tips to reduce xenoestrogen exposure:

Final Thoughts

  • I know avoiding high-estrogen foods and other everyday exposures may seem frustrating. Why is in our hands? Its a sign that our food safety and chemical laws in this country are outdated and ineffective. We need laws that keep harmful products off of store shelves before entire generations are exposed. Why should we be the guinea pigs while industry profits while making us sick?
  • Xenoestrogens are environmental estrogens that may be natural or synthetic. They tinker with our bodies natural estrogen levels, promoting certain health problems.
  • Phytoestrogens naturally occurring in some foods and drinks have been shown to be harmful and helpful in certain situations.
  • Avoiding fake fragrances, bottled water and conventional meat and dairy is a huge way to reduce xenoestrogen exposure.
  • Instead of buying bottled water, look at your local municipal/city water testing and choose a filter that best removes most contaminates. If you live on well water, get a test and filter accordingly rather than relying on bottled water.

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Cardiovascular Health And The Prevention Of Heart Disease

There are numerous risk factors for cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, obesity, C-reactive protein levels, systemic arterial compliance and the ratio of good to bad cholesterol. Of these, only marginally reduced LDL levels are a consistent feature of human and animal studies of soy intervention. The most significant reductions in LDL cholesterol levels are generally small and only seen in individuals with high cholesterol who replace a substantial portion of their animal protein intake with soy, consuming between 40 and 318 mg isoflavones per day . For example, daily administration of soy supplements providing 0.71.5 mg/kg isoflavones over 5 or 12 weeks did not alter serum lipids in men or women with average cholesterol levels , but lowered LDL levels have been reported in hypercholesterolemic women following soy isoflavone therapy .

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In 2017 , the Breast Cancer Family Registry followed the intake of soy isoflavones for 6,235 women diagnosed with breast cancer and living in the U.S. and Canada. It was found that women who ate the highest amounts of soy isoflavones had a 21 percent lower risk of death compared with women with the lowest intakes.

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The Sloan Kettering Study

A study conducted by researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College found that for many women, adding a small amount of soy to their diets, can cause cancer to grow.

While soy products might be very tasty to many, they contain a very high concentration of isoflavones, which are weak estrogen-like compounds that can boost the growth and development of breast cancers.

The study found changes in the expressions of certain genes largely known to promote cancerous cell growth among the women consuming the soy supplement.

The study states: These data raise concern that soy may exert a stimulating effect on breast cancer in a sub set of women.

This significant study, The Effects of Soy Supplementation on Gene Expression in Breast Cancer: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study, published in the Sept. 4, 2014 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, looked at 140 women who were freshly diagnosed with stage I or stage II breast cancer. Every single woman in this study had recently had a breast biopsy and had pending plans for either a mastectomy or lumpectomy in 2 to 3 weeks.

During these 2 to 3 weeks, the women were given either soy powder or a placebo that looked like the soy powder .

The results revealed that soy promoted significant cancer cell growth in all the women in the soy powder group.

Other Actions Of Phytoestrogens

Whilst this review has focused on the direct action of phytoestrogens on oestrogen synthesis and oestrogen receptors in relation to breast cancer, other actions have been ascribed to these compounds that may act independently of the ER or indirectly impinge on ER signaling. Phytoestrogens have been shown to increase the levels of human sex hormone binding globulin that will consequently reduce the concentration of circulating free âactiveâ hormones . Such an effect could be significant in the progression of breast cancer although local synthesis is considered more important than circulating concentrations of hormones. Highly reactive oxygen have been shown to play a role in the development of cancer and several studies have shown that phytoestrogens can act as anti-oxidants, although the concentrations at which anti-oxidant activity is observed are unlikely to be reached through dietary means .

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Does Soy Increase Risk For Breast Cancer

Fantastic news for plant-based foodies everywhere, the resounding answer is no, eating soy does not increase breast cancer risk, and in fact, soy reduces our risk of being diagnosed according to studies.

The important caveat to focus on, however, is that soy consumption should come from whole, organic when possible, food sources. Our bodies recognize nutrients in their natural forms better than highly processed nutrients, and therefore glean more benefit from such natural whole food nutrients. When foods are processed , there can be components involved that hinder the proper utilization of nutrients by the body. These may include pesticides, additives, and preservatives, especially if a genetically-modified form of soy is in question.

While soy has recently been cloaked in an aura of skepticism, the truth remains that soy is certainly more beneficial than questionable for most folks and therefore most definitely worthwhile to explore as a potential weapon to carry in your arsenal against the risk of initial diagnosis or recurrence of breast cancer.

Are Phytoestrogens Protective Or A Risk For Breast Cancer

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Some studies link consumption of lignans to reduced tumor cell growth:

  • When lignan was added to the highly aggressive and invasive human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-321, researchers observed signs associated with a decrease in cell proliferation.
  • In women with recent diagnoses of breast cancer, higher intake of flax increased cell death, therefore leading to slower growth of the tumor and lower proliferative rates.

Some studies link consumption of soy products to reduced breast cancer risk and reduced risk of recurrence:

  • Phytoestrogens, especially when consumed regularly during childhood, have been linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer. One study found that a decreased risk of breast cancer was associated with greater soy intake during childhood, adolescence and adulthood, and the protective effect of dietary soy intake during childhood was the strongest.
  • For Chinese women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, higher consumption of soy was correlated with decreased recurrence of cancer.
  • In one strain of rats, dietary exposure to soy from conception through adulthood decreased the incidence of mammary tumors in adult animals by 20 percent.
  • Exposure of another strain of rats to phytoestrogens in soy from conception through weaning led to decreases in tumor number and incidence.

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Breast Cancer: Pro Or Con

Determining if phytoestrogens increase or reduce the risk of developing breast cancer has proven to be one of the most challenging human health impacts to address. It is well established that estrogens promote breast tumorigenesis, and that parameters which increase lifetime estrogen exposure are associated with elevated breast cancer risk. Because they bind ERs with relatively high affinity, some researchers and clinicians are concerned that high phytoestrogen intake may increase the risk of carcinogenesis and put breast cancer survivors at risk for reoccurrence. Others have proposed that the opposite is true, citing traditionally low cancer rates in Asia as evidence . Depending on the assay used, levels of endogenous estrogen present, life stage, and tumor type, genistein can act as both a proliferative and an antiproliferative agent . For example, in vitro, genistein can inhibit proliferation of ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancer cells at high doses , but, paradoxically, promote tumor growth at lower, more physiological doses . Tamoxifen and other selective estrogen receptor modulators used for breast cancer therapy can also have mixed effects depending on dose and tissue type . The SERM-like activity of soy phytoestrogens makes dietary guidelines particularly difficult to issue with confidence.


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