A recent study from Finland shows that plant estrogens help to prevent breast cancer in women.

Most doctors feel that high and prolonged exposure to estrogen increases a woman's risk for breast cancer. Estrogen stimulates the breast to grow by first attaching on hooks on breast cells called estrogen receptors. Many plants contain estrogens that are much weaker than estrogens produced by a woman's body. So when a plant estrogen attaches on an estrogen receptor on a breast, it prevents human estrogen from attaching and therefore reduces stimulation of estrogen on the breast.

This study shows that women who have the highest blood levels of the plant estrogen, enterolactone, have the least breast cancer. Good sources of plant estrogens include root vegetables such as yams, whole grains such as wheat, beans such as soybeans, and seeds such as flaxseeds.

See #1320.

Serum enterolactone and risk of breast cancer: A case-control study in eastern Finland. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2001, Vol 10, Iss 4, pp 339-344. P Pietinen, K Stumpf, S Mannisto, V Kataja, M Uusitupa, H Adlercreutz. Pietinen P, Natl Publ Hlth Inst, Dept Nutr, Mannerheimintie 166, SF-00300 Helsinki, FINLAND

Reported 7/1/01; checked 9/3/05

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