A Research Study On Breast Cancer

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Breast Cancer accounts for more than 20 percent of cancer in women, and is the primary cause of cancer death among women globally.1 Despite extensive scientific research on the disease, the outlook on a cure arguably remains poor. While some breast cancer survivors and women at high risk remain hopeful that soy intake will reduce the risk or even cure cancer, the recommendations are conflicting. For decades, the relationship between soy foods, supplements, phytoestrogen intake and cancer has prompted considerable debate for scientists and clinicians. Patients with breast cancer are frequently advised to avoid soy foods.2 And, the American Cancer Society recommends “breast cancer survivors consume only moderate amounts of
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9,10 (See Table 1.1)
Table 1.1: Isoflavones (mg) in Soy Foods
Food #mg
60 g textured vegetable (soy) protein 45 mg
½ cup miso 59 mg
½ cup soybeans, boiled 47 mg
3 oz tempeh 37 mg
1 cup soy milk 30 mg
3 oz tofu 20 mg
Source: USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory
There are many proposed mechanisms that attempt to explain how the phytochemicals in soybeans exhibit anti-carcinogenic activity. We do know that genistein affects microRNA expression – targeted translation inhibitors for multiple proteins implicated in the regulation of various pathobiological processes in cancer.11
Lignans include matairesinol and secoisolariciresinol, which are transformed by intestinal bacteria into estrogenic compounds. Lignans are found in flax seeds, whole-wheat flour, tea, some fruits and other cereal grains.4 They are found in the woody portions of fruits and vegetable, in seed coats and in grain bran of fiber-rich cereals.5 Phytoestrogens are ingested in their natural beta- glycosidic forms. The beta glycosidic forms are hydrolyzed to their aglycones in the intestine, absorbed, and then linked in the intestinal wall and live with glucuronic acid to make them more water-soluble.12,13 These metabolites of isoflavones preodominate in blood and urine.4 Isoflavones are excreted from the body within 24 hours after ingestion. On the
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