There are many factors related to breast cancer. This section of
the book covers issues such as Red Meat, Western vs. Eastern
Diet, Alcohol, Anti-Oxidants, Obesity, and other components that
affect our health, such as Information about Trans-Fats,
Hydrogenated Oils, Broken Fats that may be harmful, and the
Essential Fatty Acids that have beneficial anti-oxidant benefits.

There are many factors related to breast cancer. This section of the book covers issues such as Red Meat, Western vs. Eastern Diet, Alcohol, Anti-Oxidants, Obesity, and other components that affect our health, such as Information about Trans-Fats, Hydrogenated Oils, Broken Fats that may be harmful, and the Essential Fatty Acids that have beneficial anti-oxidant benefits.
Dietary fat can alter mammary tumorigenesis, causing tumors of the breast. A study that relates to the activity and expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS), a critical enzyme in the de novo biosynthesis of fatty acids in mammals, is exquisitely sensitive to nutritional regulation of lipogenesis (production of fats) in liver or adipose tissue.
A study by Menendez et al indicate that: a) GLA- and omega-3 PUFA-induced repression of tumor-associated FAS may result, at least in part, from a non-specific cytotoxic effect due to peroxidative mechanisms; b) alternatively, GLA and omega-3 PUFAs have a suppressive effect on FAS expression and activity that can result in the accumulation of toxic fluxes of the FAS substrate.
Overexpression and hyperactivity of breast cancer-associated fatty acid synthase (oncogenic antigen-519) is insensitive to normal arachidonic fatty acid-induced suppression in lipogenic tissues but it is selectively inhibited by tumoricidal alpha-linolenic and gamma-linolenic fatty acids: a novel mechanism by which dietary fat can alter mammary tumorigenesis.
Menendez JA, Ropero S, Mehmi I, Atlas E, Colomer R, Lupu R, Department of Medicine, Evanston Northwestern Research Institute, Evanston, IL 60201, USA. Int J Oncol. 2004 Jun;24(6):1369-83.
Nuts and nutrients that slow breast cancer growth
Walnuts contain components that may slow breast cancer growth including omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols, polyphenols, carotenoids, and melatonin.
The eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid fractions of the livers of the group that consumed walnuts were significantly higher than that of the group that did not consume walnuts. Tumor cell proliferation was decreased, but apoptosis was not altered due to walnut consumption. A study by Hardman et al was done evaluating omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols, such as elements that are found in walnuts.
Further work is merited to investigate applications to cancer in humans.
Suppression of implanted MDA-MB 231 human breast cancer growth in nude mice by dietary walnut. Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Marshall University School of Medicine, Huntington, West Virginia 25755, USA.
Good Fats: The Omegas 3 fatty acids
Although it is believed that fish omega-3 fatty acids may decrease breast cancer risk, epidemiological evidence has been inconclusive. This study examined the association between fish and fish omega-3 fatty acids intake with the risk of breast cancer in a case-control study of Korean women.
Metastasis is the leading cause of death from breast cancer. A major factor of metastasis is the migration of cancerous cells to other tissues by way of up-regulated chemokine receptors (receptors that work on the surface of cells).
Much is known of the beneficial effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA, or omega-3) on cancer; however, the mechanisms behind these effects are unclear.
Researchers have investigated the effects of two n-3 PUFAs, (the good guy fats from fish) docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, on CXCR4 expression and activity in the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line. The n-3 PUFAs were compared with the saturated fatty acid stearic acid as a control.
A preventative Effect on Breast Cancer Metastasis
Together, data suggest that omega-3 PUFAs may have a preventative effect on breast cancer metastasis in vitro. This suggests a previously unreported potential benefit of omega-3 PUFAs to patients with metastatic breast cancer. The data presented in this study may also translate to other disorders that involve up-regulated chemokine receptors.
These results suggest that high consumption of fatty fish is associated with a reduced risk for breast cancer, and that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish is inversely associated with postmenopausal breast cancer risk.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids down-modulate CXCR4 expression and function in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Mol Cancer Res. 2009 Jul;7(7):1013-20. Epub 2009 Jun 30. Altenburg JD, Siddiqui RA., Cellular Biochemistry Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, Clarian Health Partners, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.
BMC Cancer. 2009 Jun 30;9:216. Fatty fish and fish omega-3 fatty acid intakes decrease the breast cancer risk: a case-control study. Kim J, Lim SY, Shin A, Sung MK, Ro J, Kang HS, Lee KS, Kim SW, Lee ES.
Cancer Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Management, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Gyeonggi, South Korea. Opposing Effects of Dietary n-3 and n-6 Fatty Acids on Mammary Carcinogenesis: The
Singapore Chinese Health Study

A study investigated the effects of individual fatty acids on breast cancer in a prospective study of 35,298 Singapore Chinese women aged 45-74 years, who were enrolled during April 1993 to December 1998 (The Singapore Chinese Health Study).
Each study subject was administered, in-person, a validated, semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire consisting of 165 food and beverage items. As of December 31, 2000, 314 incident cases of breast cancer had occurred. We used the Cox regression methods to examine individual fatty acids in relation to breast cancer risk, with adjustment for age at baseline interview, year of interview, dialect group, level of education, daily alcohol drinking, number of live births, age when menstrual periods became regular, and family history of breast cancer. Consumption of saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat overall was unrelated to risk. On the other hand, high levels of dietary n-3 fatty acids from fish/shellfish (marine n-3 fatty acids) were significantly associated with reduced risk.
This study has prospective findings linking the intake of marine n-3 fatty acids to breast cancer protection. Gago-Dominguez M, Yuan JM, Sun CL, Lee HP, Yu MC.USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, 1441 Eastlake Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9181, USA. Br J Cancer. 2003 Nov 3;89(9):1686-92.
Dietary Omega-3 versus Omega 6 Fatty Acid Ratio
Recent research has suggested that an increased omega-3 fatty acid intake and/or increased omega-3 versus omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ratio in the diet is associated with a lower breast cancer risk. This case-control study investigated the association between intake of (omega-3) and other fatty acids and the omega-3 versus omega-6 PUFA ratio and breast cancer risk.
These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a higher omega-3 versus omega-6 PUFA ratio may reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women. Goodstine SL, Zheng T, Holford TR, Ward BA, Carter D, Owens PH, Mayne ST.J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1409-14.Yale University School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT, USA.
More Good Fats: Linoleic Acid
Specific fatty acids may have differential effects on breast cancer etiology.
Animal studies have suggested that conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), a group of fatty acids found predominantly in dairy products and the meat of ruminants, have potent anticarcinogenic properties. A study of breast cancer risk and dietary CLA intake among 1,122 women with primary, incident, histologically confirmed breast cancer and 2,036 controls frequency matched to cases by age, race, and county of residence.
Diet was assessed with a self-administered 104-item food frequency questionnaire and other relevant data were collected by detailed in-person interviews No association was observed between intakes of total CLA or 9,11 CLA and overall risk of premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer.
Their findings suggest that, although CLA intake was not related to overall breast cancer risk, there may be associations with tumor biology at least among premenopausal women.
Dietary intake of conjugated linoleic acids and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer Study (WEB Study).
McCann SE, Ip C, Ip MM, McGuire MK, Muti P, Edge SB, Trevisan M, Freudenheim JL. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Sep;13(9):1480-4.
Department of Epidemiology, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, New York 14263, USA Mediterranean Diet and Cancer
At the Istituto di Richerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy, they studied the role of various aspects of the Mediterranean diet in several common epithelial cancers, including digestive and selected non-digestive tract neoplasms.
The study took place in northern Italy, between 1983 and 1998 with over 12,000 cases of 20 cancer sites and 10,000 controls.
Risk Decreased with Increasing Vegetable and Fruit Consumption
They found that for most epithelial cancers, the risk decreased with increasing vegetable and fruit consumption, with relative risk (RR) between 0.3 and 0.7 for the highest versus the lowest tertile.
For digestive tract cancers, population-attributable risks for low intake of vegetables and fruit A protective effect was observed also for breast, female genital tract, urinary tract and a few other epithelial neoplasms. A number of antioxidants and other micronutrients showed an inverse relationship with cancer risk, but the main components responsible for the favorable effect of a diet rich in vegetables and fruit remain undefined.
Fish Tend to be Another Favorable Diet Indicator
In contrast, subjects reporting frequent red meat intake showed risk for several common neoplasms.
Include Whole-Grain Foods in Your Diet
Intake of whole-grain foods was related to a reduced risk of several types of cancer, particularly of the upper digestive tract. This may be due to a favorable role of fiber, but the issue is still open to discussion. In contrast, refined grain intake and, consequently, glycemic load and glycemic index were associated with increased risk of different types of cancer including, among others, breast and colorectal.
The researchers concluded that a low-risk diet for cancer in the Mediterranean would imply increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as avoiding increasing the intakes of meat and refined carbohydrates. Further, olive oil and other unsaturated fats, which are also typical aspects of the Mediterranean diet, should be preferred to saturated ones.
The results of the study were published in BMC Cancer. 2007 May 9;7:80.
Mediterranean Diet has Showed Beneficial Aspects
A study found that an adherence to the Mediterranean diet is a favorable indicator of the risk of several common epithelial cancers in Italy. A score summarizing the major characteristics of the Mediterranean diet was related to a prior defined reduced risks of several digestive tract neoplasms by over 50 percent. The findings of this large study showed an inverse association between intake of flavones and breast cancer risk.
Olive Oil Helps with Breast Cancer Therapy
Olive oil's healthy fats reverse acquired autoresistance to trastuzumab (Herceptin) in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells.
A study done by Menendez JA, Vazquez-Martin A, Colomer R, Brunet J, Carrasco-Pancorbo A, Garcia-Villalba R, Fernandez-Gutierrez A, Segura-Carretero A. Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO)-Health Services Division of Catalonia, Spain.
Low Incidence of Breast Cancer in the Mediterranean Basin
While the anti-HER2 oncogene effects of the main omega-9 fatty acid present in EVOO triacylglycerols (i.e., oleic acid) have been recently described, the anti-breast cancer activities of EVOO non-glyceridic constituents--which consist of at least 30 phenolic compounds--remained to be evaluated.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006 Dec;7(6):495-502.
The final proof about the specific mechanisms by which the different components of olive oil, the principal source of fat in a typical "Mediterranean diet", exert their potential protective effects on the promotion and progression of several human cancers requires further investigations. A recent discovery that dietary fatty acids can interact with the human genome by regulating the amount and/or activity of transcription factors has opened a whole new line of research aimed to molecularly corroborate the anti-cancer benefits of the olive oil-based Mediterranean diet and the underlying mechanisms.
Their most recent findings in this study reveal that oleic acid , the main olive oil's monounsaturated fatty acid, can suppress the overexpression of HER2 (erbB-2), a well-characterized oncogene playing a key role in the etiology, invasive progression and metastasis in several human cancers.
Certainly, an appropriate dietary intervention reproducing this prominent anti-oncogenic feature of the "Mediterranean diet" must be carried out in animal models and human pilot studies in the future. Only then we will know whether the old "Mediterranean dietary traditions" will become a new molecular approach in the management of cancer disease. Int J Mol Med. 2008 Oct;22(4):433-9. Menendez JA, Lupu R., Fundació d'Investigació Biomèdica de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta (IdIBGi), Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Beneficial effects of extra-virgin olive oil polyphenols on breast cancer-associated fatty acid synthase (protein enzyme) and protein expression are analyzed.
Inhibitors of fatty acid synthase (FASN), a key enzyme involved in the anabolic conversion of dietary carbohydrates to fat in mammals, are receiving increasingly more attention as they may provide therapeutic moieties for the treatment of human malignancies. Natural compounds, such as the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate, have been shown to induce anti-cancer effects by suppressing FASN, which may account for the epidemiologically observed inverse correlation between green-tea drinking and cancer risk in Oriental populations.
Since extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)-derived phenolics have been suggested to possess biological activities that may explain the health-promoting effects of the “Mediterranean diet”, we evaluated their effects on the expression of FASN protein in human breast epithelial cell lines.
Anti-Cancer Effects
These findings reveal for the first time that phenolic fractions, directly extracted from EVOO, may induce anti-cancer effects by suppressing the expression of the lipogenic enzyme FASN in HER2-overexpressing breast carcinoma cells, thus offering a previously unrecognized mechanism for EVOO-related cancer preventive effects.
Int J Oncol. 2009 Jan;34(1):43-51. Menendez JA, Vazquez-Martin A, Oliveras-Ferraros C, Garcia-Villalba R, Carrasco-Pancorbo A, Fernandez-Gutierrez A, Segura-Carretero A.
Girona Biomedical Research Institute, Medical Oncology, Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital of Girona, E-17007 Girona, Catalonia, Spain.
Extra-virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols Fight Against Breast Cancer
Extra-virgin olive oil polyphenols inhibit HER2 (erbB-2)-induced malignant transformation in human breast epithelial cells: relationship between the chemical structures of extra-virgin olive oil secoiridoids and lignans and their inhibitory activities on the tyrosine kinase activity of HER2.
Menendez JA, Vazquez-Martin A, Oliveras-Ferraros C, Garcia-Villalba R, Carrasco-Pancorbo A, Fernandez-Gutierrez A, Segura-Carretero A., Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Girona Biomedical Research Institute.
Green Tea May also Fight Against Breast Cancer
Depending on their structure, some polyphenols (e.g. flavonoids) abundantly found in plant-derived beverages such as green tea can efficiently inhibit tyrosine kinase and serine/threonine kinase activities.
High Levels of Phenolic Compounds in Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO - the juice of the olive obtained solely by pressing and consumed without any further refining process or heating that disturbs the quality) is unique among other vegetable oils because of the high level of naturally occurring phenolic compounds.
Anti-Breast Cancer Effects of Olive Oil May Prevent the Occurrence of Breast Cancer
Findings not only molecularly support recent epidemiological evidence revealing that EVOO-related anti-breast cancer effects primarily affect the occurrence of breast tumors over-expressing the type I receptor tyrosine kinase HER2, they further suggest that the stereochemistry of EVOO-derived lignans and secoiridoids might provide an excellent and safe platform for the design of new HER2 targeted anti-breast cancer drugs.
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Are you an author? Learn about Author Central Tissue stores of individual monounsaturated fatty acids and breast cancer: the EURAMIC study. European Community Multicenter Study on Antioxidants, Myocardial Infarction, and Breast Cancer. NR Simonsen, J Fernandez-Crehuet Navajas, JM Martin-Moreno, JJ Strain, JK Huttunen, BC Martin, M Thamm, AF Kardinaal, P van't Veer, FJ Kok and L Kohlmeier University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 27599, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 68, 134-141, Copyright 1998 by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc.
Too Much Omega-6 Stimulates Breast Cancer
Diets rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., corn oil and other fats containing linoleic acid) stimulate the growth and metastasis of human breast cancer cells in mice.
On the other hand, diets containing fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids), exert suppressive effects.
The inhibitory effects of dietary fish oil on human breast cancer cell growth and metastasis in this model system are ascribable to its high good guy fats (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid content); the mechanism very likely involves suppression of tumor biosynthesis (anti-tumor activity).
Future dietary intervention trials designed to reduce the risk of recurrence in the postsurgical breast cancer patient should include the evaluation of diets containing fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids), exert suppressive effects. 1: J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995 Apr 19;87(8):587-92.
Influence of diets containing eicosapentaenoic or docosahexaenoic acid on growth and metastasis of breast cancer cells in nude mice.
Rose DP, Connolly JM, Rayburn J, Coleman M.
Division of Nutrition and Endocrinology, American Health Foundation, Vallhalla, N.Y. 10595, USA.
More Studies on Omega-3 Show Inhibition of Breast Tumor Growth
Supplementing mice with high levels of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) increases the n-3 PUFAs in cell membranes, increases the susceptibility of the cells for lipid peroxidation (LPO) and decreases the growth rate of mammary and other tumors. 1: J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995 Apr 19;87(8):587-92.
Influence of diets containing eicosapentaenoic or docosahexaenoic acid on growth and metastasis of breast cancer cells in nude mice.
Rose DP, Connolly JM, Rayburn J, Coleman M.
Division of Nutrition and Endocrinology, American Health Foundation, Vallhalla, N.Y. 10595, USA.
Cancer Cell Int. 2002 Jul 17;2(1):10.
Role of lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes in omega 3 fatty acids induced suppression of breast cancer xenograft growth in mice.
Really Bad Fats: Trans-Fatty Acids, Hydrogenated Oils and Others
These fats are often hidden in foods. Some packaged foods lack the details of the ingredients. Some list 0 Grams of trans fats, which can mean that there are up to 999 mg of trans fats per serving, but they still put 0 Grams. I feel that is more than misleading, it is false information. Given the body of information about trans fats that is so widespread in processed foods, I feel this misinformation is criminal. The strongest evidence that monounsaturated fat may influence breast cancer risk comes from studies of southern European populations, in whom intake of oleic acid sources, particularly olive oil, appears protective. No previous study has examined the relation of adipose tissue fatty acid content to breast cancer in such a population.
The Essential Fatty Acids are those that have anti-oxidant benefits. Oleic acid showed a strong inverse association with breast cancer in the Spanish center trials.
Palmitoleic and myristoleic acids showed evidence of an inverse association outside Spain, and cis-vaccenic acid showed a positive association in three centers. These data do not support the hypothesis that increasing tissue stores of oleic acid are protective against breast cancer in non-Spanish populations.
This finding implies that the strong protective associations reported for olive oil intake in dietary studies may be due to some other protective components of the oil.
It may be that there is less ingestion of toxic trans fats when more of the healthy fats are ingested.
Trans Fats in Food Products Have Been Often Hidden in the Past
Before 2006, consumers in the United States could not directly determine the presence of trans fats in food products.
This information was often omitted or could only be inferred from the ingredient list, notably from the partially hydrogenated ingredients, which may be listed as simply “soy”.
According to the FDA, the average American consumes 5.8 grams of trans fat per day (2.6 percent of calories).
In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a regulation requiring manufacturers to list trans fat on the Nutrition Facts panel of foods and some dietary supplements.
The new labeling rule became mandatory across the board, but unfortunately there is severe deception from the food industry that, unlike in many other countries, trans fat levels of less than 0.5 grams per serving can be listed as 0 grams trans fat on the food label. According to a study published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, many consumers do not know how to interpret the meaning of trans-fat content on the Nutrition Facts panel, and they may not know that 0 grams is a lie if there is 0.5 grams or even 0.99 grams hidden inside each serving.
Without specific knowledge about trans fat and its negative health effects, consumers may misinterpret nutrient information provided on the panel and think that soy is healthy even though they should avoid trans fats whether they have coronary heart disease or not.
There is no requirement to list trans fats on institutional food packaging. Bulk purchasers such as schools, hospitals, and cafeterias are unable to evaluate the trans fat content of commercial food items.
The FDA defines trans fats as containing one or more trans linkage that are not in a conjugated system. This is an important distinction, as it distinguishes non-conjugated synthetic trans fats from naturally occurring fatty acids, and essential fatty acids are the foods that heal, while trans fats harm. I, as well as others, have expressed concern that the 0.5 gram per serving threshold is too high to refer to a food as free of trans fat. There should be no trans fats at all and if there is, it should state how much is in each serving. I feel strongly in evidence that there is inflammation that damages DNA, RNA, Mitochondria that not only cause damage leading to disease, that there is also evidence that minor dietary changes are being passed to many future generations. If there is arsenic in food it would be banned and not just labeled: “0 grams of arsenic” i.e. under 0.5 grams of arsenic in each serving.
A person eating many servings of a product, or eating multiple products over the course of the day may still consume a significant amount of trans fat.
Despite this, the FDA estimates that by 2009, trans fat labeling will have prevented from 600 to 1,200 cases of coronary heart disease and 250 to 500 deaths each year.
The food industry needs to completely eliminate trans fats and use natural ingredients that actually have health benefits that are already available for use.
Trans Fats are Linked to Breast Cancer Risk in Some Studies
Trans fats are being phased out of food because they cause inflammation in arteries and may be associated with heart disease and may raise the risk of getting breast cancer according to European researchers.
They found that women with the highest blood levels of trans fats had about twice the risk of breast cancer compared to women with the lowest levels.
Researchers suggest limiting the consumption of processed foods, the source of industrially produced trans-fatty acid according a recent article in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Trans fats or trans-fatty acids are made in creating artificially broken or partially hydrogentated fats. Many times these are just listed as soy, cotton, or other oil without mentioning a process of hydrogenation. The food industry is creating more nomenclature to confuse or hide these toxic substances.
Butter for some people may be safer than these trans fats due to the inflammation factors from the trans fats, even though they are marketing as healthful replacements for artery-clogging saturated fats. More and more states like New York and California have banned trans fats in restaurant foods.
In Canada and Britain countless food companies have dropped them as an ingredient.
Veronique Chajes at the University of Paris-South and colleagues studied women taking part in a large European cancer trial at The National Center of Scientific Research. They looked at blood samples collected between 1995 and 1998 from 25,000 women who had volunteered to report on their eating and lifestyle habits and studied the incidence of developed cancer.
They studied women diagnosed with breast cancer, comparing their blood levels of fatty acids with those of women without cancer.
The higher the levels of trans-fatty acids, the more likely a woman was to have cancer, researchers found.
Obese women are more likely to develop breast cancer, and other cancers, and high-fat diets are also linked with breast cancer. There are a variety of mechanisms for these cancer causing risk factors.
Trans fats can be found in many kinds of processed foods, baked goods, snacks and a variety of other prepared foods.
Healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as salmon, walnuts and leafy green vegetables and I feel may counteract the bad effects of bad fats and foods and even alcohol. It is a chemical balancing act and oxidants versus antioxidants that decrease or destroy toxins. A 75 Percent Increase in Breast Cancer Risk
A seven-year study followed 19,934 women who provided diet history using a questionnaire and also provided blood samples at the start of the study.
Chajes and co-workers documented 363 cases of breast cancer during the course of the study, and matched these cases to breast cancer-free controls according to age, menopausal status at baseline, date, and collection centre.
While levels of cis-monounsaturated fatty acids were not related to the risk of developing breast cancer risk, the researchers calculated that increasing blood levels of the trans-monounsaturated fatty acids elaidic acid and palmitoleic acid were associated with a 75 percent increase in breast cancer risk.
Chajès V, A. Thiébaut CM, Rotival M, Gauthier E, Maillard V; Boutron-Ruault MC, Joulin V, Lenoir GM, Clavel-Chapelon F (2008). "Serum trans-monounsaturated fatty acids are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in the E3N-EPIC Study". Am. J. Epidemiol 167: 1312. There are Alternatives to Trans Fats Which Can Be Non-Harmful
The food industry is being to committed to removing trans-fatty acids from its products, and getting better with information on package inserts.
Paul Wassell and Niall Young from Danisco's Multiple Food Application Group reviewed the options available to formulators and stated that designing foods with trans fat alternatives must be a "multidisciplinary' approach" (International Journal of Food Science and Technology, Vol. 42, pp 503-517).
The food industry has been using trans fats as preservatives, and say they have had difficulty finding another non-trans fats food preservative. However, despite their claims, there are now natural preservatives that can be used that are much more beneficial to our health.
American Journal of Epidemiology, "Association between Serum trans-Monounsaturated Fatty Acids and Breast Cancer Risk in the E3N-EPIC Study" Authors: V. Chajes, A.C.M. Thiebaut, M. Rotival, E. Gauthier, V. Maillard, M.-C. Boutron-Ruault, V. Joulin, G.M. Lenoir, F. Clavel-Chapelon.
The Report From European Community Multicenter Study
This study on Antioxidants, Myocardial Infarction, and Breast Cancer suggests that eating trans fats may increase risk for breast cancer.
Study: Tissue antioxidants and postmenopausal breast cancer: the European Community Multicentre Study on Antioxidants, Myocardial Infarction, and Cancer of the Breast (EURAMIC), by P van 't Veer, et al. from the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Zeist, The Netherlands.
Antioxidants May Protect Against Free Radical Mediated Carcinogenesis
Epidemiological studies have not confirmed this hypothesis for breast cancer, possibly because of methodological limitations. Time-integrated exposure of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene in adipose tissue, and selenium in toenails was investigated in a case-control study among postmenopausal women, ages 50-74 years, from five European countries.
347 Incident Breast Cancer Cases and 374 Controls
This study included a provisional antioxidant score, indicating whether concentrations were above the median for zero, one, two, or all three antioxidants. Results do not support the hypothesis that antioxidants are important determinants of this hormone-related malignancy among Women with Breast Cancer Have Higher Levels of Trans Fats in Their Bodies Than Other

Trans fats are found in processed foods, most margarines and in many kinds of French Fries, fried chicken or fish, pies, cakes, cookies, and other foods made with shortening.
The researchers measured trans and other fats in tissue samples taken from the buttocks of 291 women with breast cancer and 407 similar healthy women in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.
The women who had eaten higher levels of trans were almost four times more likely to have breast cancer than the women who had eaten less trans--but only if they also ate low levels of polyunsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fats are largely found in full-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise, nuts, and vegetable oils--except palm and coconut.
Polyunsaturated fats may help keep cells from proliferating and the trans fat may be blocking the polyunsaturated oils from carrying out that beneficial role, This information comes from Lenore Kohlmeier, et al at the University of North Carolina. They found that as long as there are enough polyunsaturated, the trans fats have little impact and if polyunsaturated fats are low, the trans fatty acids may keep them from doing their job.
This information is important about prevention of cardiovascular disease and about breast cancer.
They found in the study that trans fat intakes and fat stores are higher in the U.S. than in European countries.
High-Fat Diet May Increase Breast Cancer Risk, Especially the Harmful Fats
A large study of middle-age women with a wide range of fat in their diet shows that eating a high-fat diet raises the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
The study was reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, stem from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, in which 188,736 postmenopausal women reported detailed information on their diet in the mid-1990s.
Based on responses to a questionnaire, researchers found that women who got 40 percent of their calories from fat had about a 15 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer compared with women who got 20 percent of their calories from fat.
The increased risk of breast cancer associated with a high-fat diet was seen for all types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. This seemed to be confined to women who were not using hormone replacement therapy at the start of the study.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, March 21, 2007.
20-Year Study on Dietary Fat for Older Women
A large U.S. study shows Dietary Fat May Not Raise Breast Cancer Odds in Certain Age Groups (Women after menopause), and that no evidence was found that a high-fat diet raises older women's risk of breast cancer.
In a study that followed more than 80,000 women for 20 years, Harvard University researchers found that fat intake during middle-age or later was largely unrelated to breast cancer risk.
Instead, there was some evidence that higher fat intake cuts the risk of breast cancer among women with insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
This potential benefit stems from lower blood sugar levels. In women with insulin resistance, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet can cause a particularly high surge in levels of insulin, a hormone that processes blood sugar.
Some research suggests that chronically elevated insulin levels can feed breast tumor growth.
The study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology is different than other earlier studies that have linked high fat intake to a higher breast cancer risk.
Some research has suggested that certain healthy fats like the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may lower a woman's risk of the disease.
In general, experts recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and "good" unsaturated fats, like those in olive oil, nuts and fish.
For women with insulin resistance, it is particularly important to have a moderate intake of good fats fiber-rich foods and to avoid processed carbohydrates like white bread and sugary cereals.
American Journal of Epidemiology, November 15, 2006.
More on Fats - Reducing Fat Intake Offers Health Benefits
"Large Study Finds No Direct Link for Postmenopausal Women, But Reducing Fat Intake Offers Health Benefits" by Ross L. Prentice and others, Journal of the American Medical Association, February 8, 2006.
Overweight women have an increased risk of getting breast cancer after menopause.
Being overweight can increase the risk of breast cancer coming back in women who have had the disease. This may be because fat cells make extra estrogen and other hormones, which might stimulate breast cell growth.
In this large study, researchers compared the risk of developing breast cancer in women who were randomly assigned to one of two groups: continue to eat their regular diet or change to a low-fat diet.
Conducted by researchers at 40 clinical centers across the United States, this study is known as the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial.
More than 48,800 postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 79 with no history of breast cancer, were studied from 1993 to 2005. This is one of the largest studies of a low-fat diet and breast cancer risk.
The women were randomly assigned to either a low-fat diet group (19,541 women) or a regular The women in the low-fat diet group had slightly lower levels of estradiol in their blood after one year. This difference was not significant. The estradiol levels were about the same after one year for the women in the regular-diet group.
The researchers concluded that a low-fat diet did not appear to significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
The researchers also noted that the low-fat diet seemed to be more beneficial for women who ate more fat to begin with. Also, the benefits of a low-fat diet may take longer than eight years to become significant, so a longer study may offer more definitive conclusions.
Low-Fat Diets May Reduce Risk of Recurrence of Breast Cancer
Researchers have suspected that reducing the amount of fat in your diet might reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back. But some studies have not found any conclusive evidence of this.
People who try to eat less fat usually eat more fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables have compounds called phytochemicals, nutrients that may help reduce breast cancer risk.
If you're on a low-fat diet you may lose weight, because most low-fat diets have reduced calories.
Other research has shown that being overweight may significantly increase the risk of cancer coming back. Because of this, many researchers suspect that losing weight might reduce the risk of recurrence.
Women with estrogen-receptor-negative cancer occur in about one in five in this study. This group seemed to benefit the most.
These women had a 42 percent lower relative risk of recurrence if they ate low-fat diets. For the women who were estrogen-receptor-positive, being on a low-fat diet did not have statistically significant results.
The benefit of the low-fat diet in this study appeared to be limited to women with estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancers.
The researchers concluded that a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back in post-menopausal women.
This information came from an article titled: "Low-Fat Diet May Reduce Risk of Recurrence" by R.T. Chlebowski et al., American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, May 2005, Abstract #10.
Serum Trans-Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Are Associated With an Increased Risk of
Breast Cancer

Another 2008 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that Serum trans-monounsaturated fatty acids are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. An increased intake of trans-fatty acids may raise the risk of breast cancer by 75 percent, suggests the results from the French part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer. Almost 20,000 women provided data for the study, which looks set to increase the pressure on the food industry to remove trans fats from their products and reformulate.
Writing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Veronique Chajes from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) reports that high blood levels of trans fatty acids was associated with a significant increase in breast cancer incidence. High serum level of trans-monounsaturated fatty acids, presumably reflecting a high intake of industrially processed foods, is probably one factor contributing to increased risk of invasive breast cancer in women.
Though trace amounts of trans fats are found naturally, in dairy and meats, the vast majority are formed during the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oil that converts the oil into semi-solids for a variety of food applications.
Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) are attractive for the food industry due to their extended shelf life and flavor stability, and have displaced natural solid fats and liquid oils in many areas of food processing.
But scientific reports that trans-fatty acids raise serum levels of LDL-cholesterol, reduce levels of HDL-cholesterol, can promote inflammation can cause endothelial dysfunction, and influence other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), has led to a well-publicized bans in New York City restaurants, and other cities, like Boston and Chicago, considering similar measures.
Antioxidants may protect against free radical mediated carcinogenesis
Tissue antioxidants and postmenopausal breast cancer: the European Community Multicentre Study on Antioxidants, Myocardial Infarction, and Cancer of the Breast (EURAMIC) Epidemiological studies have not confirmed this hypothesis for breastcancer, possibly because of methodological limitations.
These results do not support the hypothesis that antioxidants are importantdeterminants of this hormone-related malignancy among postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, Vol 5, Issue 6 441-447,1996 by American Association for Cancer Research, Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(5):666-74.
Flavonoids: Reduced Risk
Few epidemiologic studies have investigated the potential relation between flavonoids and breast cancer risk. However, high intakes of fruit and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cancer at several sites.
They studied recently published data on the composition of foods and beverages in terms of six principal classes of flavonoids (i.e., flavanones, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavones, anthocyanidines, and isoflavones) on dietary information collected in a large-case control study of breast cancer conducted in Italy between 1991 and 1994. The study included 2,569 women with incident, histologically confirmed breast cancer, and 2,588 hospital controls.
A large body of evidence indicates that high intakes of fruit and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cancer at several sites. The association is generally most marked for epithelial cancers, apparently stronger for those of the digestive and respiratory tracts, and somewhat The relationship between frequency of consumption of vegetables and fruit and cancer risk was analyzed using data from a series of case-control studies conducted in northern Italy since 1983. The relative risks (RRs) for most common neoplasms ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 for the highest compared with the lowest tertile of vegetable intake. Protective effects were highest for epithelial neoplasms, but were also observed for hormone-related neoplasms. Fruit was related to reduced RRs for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, stomach, larynx, as well as of the urinary tract. There was a specific and consistent pattern of protection by tomatoes, a typical Mediterranean food, with RRs between 0.4 and 0.7, most notably for gastrointestinal neoplasms.
No significant association was observed between fruit and vegetable consumption and non-epithelial lymphoid neoplasms. For digestive tract cancer, population attributable risks for low intake of fresh vegetables and fruit ranged from 15 to 40 percent of all cases in this Mediterranean population. Combined with tobacco and alcohol, the population attributable risks exceeded 85 percent for men and 55% for women for upper digestive and respiratory tract neoplasms.
Their study from a public health viewpoint and epidemiological evidence indicates that a substantial reduction in epithelial cancer risk can be obtained by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Apr;14(4):805-8. Eur J Cancer Prev. 1998 Feb;7(1):3-8.
Soy, Herbs and Other Dietary Supplements
Fiber, Fruits and Veggies (Rather Than Meat and Dairy)
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.
Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods.
This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients.
An evidence- based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes.
The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 Diabetes than non vegetarians.
Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals.
The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients.
Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. Craig WJ, Mangels AR; American Dietetic Association. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Jul;109(7):1266-82.
Isoflavones in Soy and Soy Supplements
Soy compound linked to lower breast cancer risk and Genistein is one of the major isoflavones, plant compounds found in soybeans, chick peas and other legumes that are structurally similar to the hormone estrogen, and are believed to bind to estrogen receptors on body cells in this study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, April 1, 2008.
Plasma Isoflavone Level and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer among Japanese Women: A Nested Case-Control Study from the Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study Group, Iwasaki, et al.
From the Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center; Department of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, School of Physical Education, Sendai University; and the Cancer Information Services and Surveillance Division, Center for Cancer Control and Information Services, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan.
A total of 24,226 women ages 40 to 69 years in the Japan PublicHealth Center–based prospective study who responded tothe baseline questionnaire and provided blood in 1990 to 1995were observed to December 2002.
There was a mean 10.6 years offollow-up, 144 patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer wereidentified. Two matched controls for each patient were selectedfrom the cohort. Isoflavone levels were assessed by plasma leveland food frequency questionnaire, and the odds ratio of breastcancer according to isoflavone level was estimated using a conditionallogistic regression model.
They found a statistically significant inverse association betweenplasma genistein and risk of
breast cancer, but no associationfor plasma daidzein. Adjusted odds ratios for the highest versus
lowest quartile of plasma level were 0.34 for genistein (95%CI, 0.16 to 0.74; P for trend, .02) and
0.71 for daidzein (95%CI, 0.35 to 1.44; P for trend, .54). Median plasma genisteinvalues in the
control group were 31.9 ng/mL for the lowest and353.9 ng/mL for the highest quartile groups.
Regarding dietaryintake of isoflavones, nonsignificant inverse associations wereobserved for both
genistein and daidzein.
This nested case-control study found an inverse associationbetween plasma genistein and the risk of breast cancer in Japan.
Women with high blood levels of an estrogen-like compound found in soy seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Together with past studies the findings suggest that a high isoflavone intake from food may help lower breast cancer risk Japanese women typically consume soy isoflavones on a regular basis starting from a young age, which may influence the compounds' effects on breast cancer development.
Effect of Soy Phytoestrogens on Hot Flashes in Postmenopausal Women With Breast

Van Patten CL - J Clin Oncol - 15-MAR-2002; 20(6): 1449-55 Vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, in breast cancer survivors are often worsened by chemotherapy and Tamoxifen, and/or the discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy at diagnosis. This study evaluated the acceptability and effectiveness of a soy beverage containing phytoestrogens as a treatment for hot flashes in postmenopausal women with breast cancer.
Soy beverages did not alleviate hot flashes in women with breast cancer any more than did a placebo. Future research into other compounds is recommended to identify safe and effective therapies for hot flashes in breast cancer survivors.
Soy Estrogens and Breast Cancer
Soy may interfere with Tamoxifen, in a study in the journal, Cancer Research (Vol. 62: 2474-2477), 2002. Tamoxifen Effective for Most Breast Cancers Of the 203,500 cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed this year, most will be estrogen dependent. These cancers grow partly in response to estrogen They are described as estrogen receptor positive, or ER positive, cancers.
Tamoxifen has long been an effective treatment for women with ER positive breast cancer. It works by blocking the estrogen receptors and preventing estrogen from attaching to them.
Tamoxifen is mostly used after surgery or radiation therapy in women who are post menopause. It reduces the risk that the cancer will return.
Tamoxifen is also used by some women without breast cancer but who are at high risk of breast cancer to lower their risk of getting breast cancer.
But Tamoxifen has side effects. Some women who take it feel menopause-like symptoms, including hot flashes and emotional changes. There are not many solutions for these symptoms.
Doctors usually advise women with a history of breast cancer to avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because it includes estrogen and could have an effect on any lingering breast cancer cells.
Some women turn to soy or supplements to lessen their symptoms, more studies are needed to evaluate their benefits and risks. Does Soy Offer a protective Effect Against Breast Cancer?
Data on soy and breast cancer should involve further studies.
Written by Gloria Tsang, RD, last updated: September 2005.
Among all the functional foods, soy products certainly capture consumers' attention. Soy, to be more specific, plant chemicals called isoflavones, genistein found in soy, has displayed cancer-fighting activity in lab tests involving cancers of the prostate, breast and colon. Some human studies demonstrated the same encouraging results, but some other clinical trials did not. Among all mentioned cancers, data on soy and prostate cancer seems to be the most promising; many studies support its role in the prevention and possible treatment of prostate cancer.
Soy and Breast Cancer-Sources of Soy should be Organic
Soy that has pesticides may be linked to breast cancer due to xenoestrogens which are harmful. I found this from lab studies where breast cancer cells increased in numbers dramatically with exposure to Xenoestrogens.
Also pesticides that are derivates of petroleum products may be carcinogenic or contribute to breast disease. Some studies showed soy offers a protective effect against breast cancer, and few studies showed the estrogen-like effects in isoflavones may be harmful for women with breast cancer.
Cancer research indicates that data on soy and breast cancer are not conclusive, and more research is needed to be done to better educate patients and medical providers about the use of soy. What we know at this point is the phytoestrogens in soy foods may be "anti-estrogens". In other words, they may block estrogen from reaching the receptors. The role of this activity is not certain if this will potentially protect women from developing breast cancer. Some studies found that pre-menopausal women may benefit from eating soy foods as their natural estrogen levels are high. Other studies do not support their use. There may be special concerns for post-menopausal women. Studies found that soy could become "pro-estrogen" in women with low levels of natural estrogen. Concentrated soy supplements may add estrogen to the body and hence increase breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women.
Fermented Soy May Be the Best Form of Soy
This is based on clinical trials that I have studied from China. There was tumor shrinkage on tumor extraction post-high-dose, fermented soy. Fermentation of soy has led to the creation of the popular foods tempeh, miso, and natto.
During the Ming dynasty, fermented soy appeared in the Chinese Materia Medica as a nutritionally important food and an effective remedy for diseases.
Unfermented Soybeans Contain Potent Anti-Nutrients
In their natural form, soybeans contain phytochemicals with toxic effects on the human body. The three major anti-nutrients are phytates, enzyme inhibitors and goitrogens.
Soybeans Can Block Production of Thyroid Hormone
Lack of Thyroid Hormone has been linked to Breast Cancer.
Soybeans have a high content of goitrogens, substances that can block the production of thyroid hormone as well as cause goiter formation. Low thyroid activity plagues women in America, particularly middle-aged women. Thyroid hormone stokes the cellular furnaces, known as mitochondria. When thyroid production is low, energy levels as well as body heat are also low. Low thyroid level is what makes old people move so slowly and seem like every action is a huge chore. Low thyroid means the action of the heart is reduced, resulting in lack of oxygen to the cells, a prime condition for cancer.
It is this action of regulating cell division that made genistein a popular substance for fighting cancer. When research on this anti-cancer effect of genistein became more known, the soy industry feverishly developed products that would appeal to Western women looking for genistein. More attention and research is needed about the energy reducing effects of genistein and ways to improve cellular function in normal cells.
The benefits of Genistein Come at a High Cost
Women have been encouraged to use high genistein soy products to alleviate symptoms of menopause and as a guard against bone loss and breast cancer. More research is needed due to conflicting reports in the literature.
With many different effects of genistein in the body, high consumption could result in age-related memory loss. Commercial soybean products offer genistein levels as high as 20 to 60 mg per serving.
Asians are presented as an example of the benefits of eating soybean products because their incidence of breast cancer and osteoporosis is low. However, the Asian diet of fermented soybean products such as miso and tempeh includes only around 5 mg of genistein a day.
Genistein may slow the growth of blood vessels to tumors, another action that makes it popular as a cancer fighter. However, it has the same effect on blood vessels serving normal cells. Eating a regular diet high in genistein could result in the starvation of healthy blood vessels, resulting in a reduced supply of oxygen to cells, setting up a cancer promoting situation.
In a graphic example of how genistein slows cellular energy, a study found that eating high levels of it slowed hair growth by 60 to 80 percent.
A decade ago a study of 8,000 Asian men showed that those consuming the highest amounts of tofu had smaller brain size and nearly three times the rate of senile dementia as those who ate the lowest amounts. These results suggest that eating foods high in isoflavones such as soy protein isolates may accelerate the aging of the brain.
Fermentation releases nutrients and transforms soybeans into nutritious food It is fermentation that transforms genistin into genistein. Many products in the U.S. do not distinguish between genistin and genistein on their labels.
More studies are needed to know more about the role of fermented soy products. Dr. John Lee, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer Warner Books. How Fermenting Takes the Allergy out of Soy and Other Foods,
Soy and Cancer Survivors
Dietary supplementation with fermented soy nutraceutical, Haelan951, in patients who survived terminal cancers.
Results from a multi-year study of Soy by Kevin Buckman, M.D., who reviewed actual pathology slides from excisions before and after use of concentrated and naturally fermented soy were striking. There was noticeable shrinkage (in the groups that received naturally fermented soy), of malignant breast cancer tumors that were extracted during surgery.
According to the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Nov, 2004 by Vijaya Nair, the type of soy used is important. Soy has been a staple of the Southeast Asian diet for nearly five millennia and both its medicinal and nutritional values are deeply rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbal Medicine. (8,9) On the other hand, consumption of soy in the United States and Western Europe has been limited to the 20th century. Asians, on average eat 20 to 50 times more soy than Americans.
Soy foods are divided into two categories: non-fermented and fermented soy products. Traditional nonfermented soy foods include fresh green soybeans, whole dry soybeans, soy nuts, soy sprouts, whole-fat soy flour, soymilk and soymilk products, tofu, okara and yuba.
Traditional fermented soy foods include tempeh, miso, soy sauces, natto and fermented tofu and soymilk products.
In Asia, the traditional fermented soy foods are considered to have more health promoting benefits when consumed in moderate amounts than the processed soy products that are consumed in the West.
Epidemiology of Soy Exposures and Breast Cancer Risk and its Evaluation is Complex
In Asia, soy food is consumed traditionally as nonfermented soy foods, fermented soy foods (miso and natto), or other soy products (fried, dried and pressed soy products).
The average intake is between 25 and 50 mg of isoflavones per day (Messina et al, 2006), according to the British Journal of Cancer (2008) 98, A H Wu1, M C Yu2, C-C Tseng1 and M C Pike1, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA and the Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
In contrast, intake of soy isoflavones in Western populations is usually less than 1.0 mg of isoflavones per day and Asian soy foods are rarely consumed.
Their sources of soy isoflavones come from some legumes, sprouts and vegetables containing small amounts of isoflavones, and from soy flour and soy protein extenders and fillers (Horn-Ross et al, 2001).
Soy intake during adolescence and breast cancer risk was investigated in one large Canadian case–control study (Thanos et al, 2006).
The authors reported a significant, inverse association with a score representing intake of foods considered rich in isoflavones. In this study population, few subjects (<5%) reported intake of any soy foods (tofu, soybeans, soy milk and soy powder drinks) and the most likely sources of soy isoflavones were pancakes (mix), canned food, and processed meats.
More studies are needed to know the possible benefits and risks of soy, and know more about the processing and use of soy. Natural Food Extracts, Herbs, and Supplements
Black Cohosh May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Black cohosh may help women cope with menopausal symptoms and may reduce breast cancer risk.
More research is needed before the herb, black cohosh, can be recommended to prevent the disease.
Many women use hormone-related supplements such as black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, ginseng and yam to deal with hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
To examine how the use of these herbs might relate to breast cancer risk, these researchers compared 949 women with breast cance



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