Lower Your Risk For Breast Cancer Heart Disease

Lower Your Risk For Breast Cancer Heart Disease



Lower Your Risk for​ Breast Cancer & Heart Disease
Many postmenopausal women are looking for​ alternatives to​ hormone therapy, especially in​ light of​ the​ recent Womens Health Initiative research findings concerning the​ risks of​ combined estrogen and​ progestin therapy. of​ particular interest are phytoestrogens, which have been gaining popularity due to​ their natural status, alleged health claims, and​ availability in​ a​ wide range of​ foods and​ supplements.
What are Phytoestrogens?
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that have some similarities to​ estradiol, the​ most potent naturally occurring estrogen. However, phytoestrogens tend to​ have weaker effects than most estrogens, are not stored in​ the​ body, and​ can be easily broken down and​ eliminated.
Observational studies have found a​ lower prevalence of​ breast cancer, heart disease and​ hip fracture rates among people living in​ places like Southeast Asia, where diets are typically high in​ phytoestrogens. in​ North America, knowledge of​ these reported health effects has stimulated great interest in​ the​ health benefits of​ phytoestrogens. According to​ the​ Food and​ ​Drug​ Administration, the​ sale of​ soy foods, a​ major source of​ phytoestrogens, has increased dramatically in​ the​ past decade.
Dietary Sources of​ Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens consist of​ more than 20 compounds and​ can be found in​ more than 300 plants, such as​ herbs, grains and​ fruits. the​ three main classes of​ dietary phytoestrogens are isoflavones, lignans and​ coumestans
1. Isoflavones genistein, daidzein, glycitein and​ equol are primarily found in​ soy beans and​ soy products, chickpeas and​ other legumes.
2. Lignans enterolactone and​ enterodiol are found in​ seeds primarily flaxseed, cereal bran, legumes, and​ ​alcohol​ beer and​ bourbon.
3. Coumestans coumestrol can be found in​ alfalfa and​ clover. Most food sources containing these compounds typically include more than one class of​ phytoestrogens.
The Skeletal Effects of​ Phytoestrogens
Much of​ the​ evidence concerning the​ potential role of​ phytoestrogens in​ bone health is​ based on animal studies. in​ fact, soybean protein, soy isoflavones, genistein, daidzein and​ coumestrol have all been shown to​ have a​ protective effect on bone in​ animals who had their ovaries surgically removed.
In humans, however, the​ evidence is​ conflicting. Compared to​ Caucasian populations, documented hip fracture rates are lower in​ countries such as​ Hong Kong, China and​ Japan where dietary phytoestrogen intakes are high. Yet reports suggest that Japanese women have a​ greater risk of​ sustaining a​ vertebral fracture than Caucasian women.
Several studies have explored the​ effects of​ soy isoflavones on bone health, but results have been mixed, ranging from a​ modest impact to​ no effect. Most of​ these studies have serious limitations, including their short duration and​ small sample size, making it​ difficult to​ fully evaluate the​ impact of​ these compounds on bone health.
Ipriflavone Supplements
Ipriflavone, a​ synthetic isoflavone, has shown some promise in​ its ability to​ conserve bone in​ postmenopausal women. Ipriflavone has also been shown to​ have a​ protective effect on bone density in​ premenopausal women taking gonadotropinreleasing hormone GnRH, a​ treatment for​ endometriosis that triggers bone loss.
However, a​ definitive threeyear study of​ more than 400 postmenopausal women concluded that ipriflavone did not prevent bone loss. Additionally, the​ compound was linked to​ lymphocytopenia a​ reduction in​ lymphocytes in​ a​ significant number of​ study participants. Lymphocytes are a​ type of​ white blood cell that helps the​ body fight infection.
Risks and​ Benefits Are Unclear
Some studies suggest that, unlike estrogen, phytoestrogens do not appear to​ target breast or​ uterine tissue. This suggests that they may act more like SERMS selective estrogen receptor modulators such as​ raloxifene and​ tamoxifen than actual estrogens. However, in​ other studies high isoflavone levels have been linked to​ an increased risk of​ breast cancer.
Clearly, additional research is​ needed to​ further evaluate the​ effects of​ phytoestrogens before judgments regarding their safety and​ usefulness can be made.
Key Points
Based on information available at​ this time, it​ is​ reasonable to​ make the​ following conclusions concerning phytoestrogens and​ bone health in​ postmenopausal women
1. Moderate amounts of​ foods containing phytoestrogens can be safely included in​ the​ diet but do not expect it​ to​ help build bone. Keep to​ the​ basic rule eat the​ least processed forms.
2. Due to​ a​ lack of​ evidence and​ concerns about safety, supplementation with synthetic isoflavones ipriflavone is​ in​ question.
3. Postmenopausal women are encouraged to​ view evidence concerning phytoestrogens and​ bone health as​ conflicting and​ incomplete. for​ women who are estrogen dominant increasing their phytoestrogen intake may not improve their bone position.




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