Soy And Cabbage Vegetables Alleviate Side Effects İn Breast Cancer Therapy
Soy And Cabbage Vegetables Alleviate Side Effects in Breast Cancer Therapy, In the conventional treatment of breast cancer, the so-called anti-hormone therapy is often used. Drugs are given over many years (eg tamoxifen), which lower the estrogen level or inhibit the estrogen effect. The estrogen could otherwise make the breast cancer grow again. The antihormone therapy, however, has numerous side effects. In December 2017, researchers showed that eating soy products and cabbage can alleviate the side effects of anti-hormone therapy.
Relieving side effects of antihormone therapy by diet
Women who have survived breast cancer often have to take medication for many years, even after a successful fight against cancer. These are intended to prevent relapse by inhibiting the body’s estrogen production or block the estrogen effect.
Estrogens are considered hormones that can accelerate tumor growth (hormone-dependent breast cancer). However, the drug-induced estrogen deficiency now leads to symptoms reminiscent of menopause, such as hot flashes, fatigue, joint pain and nocturnal sweats.
Researchers at the Washington DC Cancer Center ( Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center) carried out a study of 365 participants to see if using a specific diet would help alleviate the side effects of antihormone therapy.
Less tiredness and less joint pain due to soy consumption
The leading study author, Dr. med. Sarah Oppeneer Nomura said: “The symptoms [of antihormone therapy] can affect the quality of life of cancer survivors to such an extent that they even stop them, so it is important to understand how diet and other lifestyle factors work because they are an important tool could reduce the side effects of antihormone therapy. ”
The study, which was published in December 2017 in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment , showed interesting facts: Anyone who eats a lot of vegetables from the family of the cruciferous plants ( cabbage , mustard , radish, etc.) and many soy products suffers less from the side effects mentioned. A lush soy consumption is also associated with more vitality and less fatigue. Also, the soybean lovers complained less about joint pain, hair loss and memory loss.
As there were also Chinese women among the participants, it was examined whether only with them a connection between the diet and the degree of side effects showed. Instead, it was discovered that the soya and vegetable-rich diet had a positive effect on non-Chinese women in particular.
Isoflavones and glucosinolates – two plant substances – are responsible for the positive effect
Responsible for the positive effect of these foods are probably the plant substances contained. In soy products it is the isoflavones and in cruciferous plants the so-called glucosinolates. For example, isoflavones bind to and block the estrogen receptors so that the true estrogen can no longer find receptors. At the same time, they provide a weak estrogenic effect and can compensate for the drug-induced estrogen deficiency to a degree, but without driving cancer growth.
How exactly glucosinolates alleviate the side effects of antihormone therapy is not yet fully understood. However, since glucosinolates are considered to be anticancer in general, eating cabbage, radish, cress and Co. is always a good idea.
Cabbage leaves a harmless estrogen
One of the cancer-inhibiting mechanisms of glucosinolates is described as follows: The body’s own estrogen (17β-estradiol) can be metabolized to 16α-hydroxyestrone or to 2-hydroxyestrone. The latter has a weak estrogenic effect and therefore hardly affects a hormone-dependent breast cancer, while 16α-hydroxyestron has a strong estrogenic action and can contribute to the progression of the cancer. Cabbage vegetables (and other vegetables containing glucosinolates) are now expected to make 17β-estradiol more potent than 2-hydroxyestrone and not the carcinogenic 16α-hydroxyestron.
While estrogen is blocked in antihormone therapy, which inevitably leads to side effects, the glucosinolates simply give birth to an estrogenic form that has no cancer-promoting effects. However, as there is still an estrogen present and also binds to the estrogen receptors, there is no estrogen deficiency symptoms.
Soy and cabbage have the best effect in breast cancer therapy when they have been consumed for years
Previous studies have already shown that substances from soya and cross flower plants can also directly inhibit breast cancer cells, but only if the patients had eaten these foods regularly before the cancer diagnosis, were therefore used to them and continued to eat them during and after the disease. We reported here: soy protects against breast cancer
However, women who have never eaten soy products or even low cabbage vegetables should not suddenly resort to these foods. The positive and protective effect should mainly occur in women who have already eaten soy products and cabbage before their illness, or at best their entire life. For them, consumption of soy and cabbage leads to a lower relapse rate and a generally lower risk of dying from cancer.
How the two food groups affect other women is not yet known. Of course, you can still regularly eat cabbage, etc., but not in unusually large quantities.
For more information on the effect of soy products in cancer, see: Soy in Cancer – when useful, when harmful
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