Soy Supplements for Women with Breast Cancer

Some menopausal and postmenopausal women find symptom relief through conventional estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). Moreover, ERT has been associated with benefits such as preservation of cardiovascular, skeletal, genitourinary, and cognitive health.
Unfortunately, this therapy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, dissuading some women from using it and excluding its application for breast cancer survivors.

Soybeans are very high in phytoestrogens, hormone-like compounds found in plant foods. They’re also high in isoflavones, phytoestrogens that are chemically close to the human female hormone estrogen.
Not surprisingly, despite its benefits, less than 20 percent of women in the United States use ERT. Many women explore alternative approaches to estrogen replacement to eliminate the risks of conventional ERT, with the hope of reaping the benefits.

Soybeans are known to be rich in naturally occurring compounds with estrogen-like activity. Several studies of these popular soy-derived phytoestrogens (PEs) yielded unclear and contradictory results, leaving open the question of whether soy may protect against breast cancer or, like conventional ERT, cause its emergence.
NCCAM intends to study these issues and assess the impact in a phase II clinical trial of PE supplementation on the health of women after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Some foods such as soy foods provide well-absorbed calcium. Factors that enhance calcium absorption include adequate vitamin D and protein.
Numerous studies have shown that soy foods and supplements can lower cholesterol levels and improve the ratio of LDL to HDL (usual dosage is 47 g per day).
Soy isoflavones may help reduce menopausal symptoms (hotfl ashes); preliminary research suggests it may reduce the risk of breast, uterine, and colon cancer, and benefit those with osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
It is not recommended for those with impaired thyroid function; high supplemental intake is not recommended during pregnancy.

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FACTS ABOUT SOY BENEFITS:

  • Soy protein has been shown to significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and protect against bone loss.
  • Soy products contain phytoestrogens, which can help balance hormone levels and counter the effects of excess estrogen stimulation. Soy also contains amino acids which aid in detoxification
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FIBROCYSTIC BREASTS: Vitamins and minerals supplement

Fibrocystic breasts are benign (non-cancerous) changes that occur in the breast tissue, making them lumpy and fibrous. Fibrocystic breasts affect almost 60 percent of women typically between ages 30 and 50. Studies have proved that of lifestyle modifications and natural treatments including vitamins and minerals that can help reduce the symptoms of fibrocystic breasts and promote good breast health.

Top Recommended Supplements

chasterChasteberry (vitex): This supplement aid to balance hormone levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Studies have shown that it can help reduce breast pain and swelling. Do not take if you are on oral contraceptives or if you are pregnant. Fish oils: Anti-inflammatory effects are provided by beneficial omega-3 fatty acids contain in fish oil. They also reduce breast pain, and also help the body absorb iodine. Iodine deficiency is associated with fibrocystic breast changes.

fibro

GLA: Found in flaxseed, primrose, and borage oil, which contain beneficial fatty acids that may help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with fibrocystic breasts. Indole-3-carbinol: A compound found naturally in cruciferous vegetables that aids in detoxification of estrogen, protects liver function, and may protect against hormonal cancers.

Complementary Supplements

Magnesium: Helps reduce pain and inflammation of fibrocystic breast changes, particularly symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. Dosage: 100–200 mg twice daily with meals. Vitamin B6:  Helps the liver process estrogen. Studies have shown that it can reduce breast pain and swelling associated with the menstrual cycle. Vitamin E: Vitamin E aid reduce pain, tenderness, and swelling. Some (but not all) studies have found benefits.


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