It is well known that breast cancer can be triggered by the hormone estrogen.

The action of estrogen is to cause cell proliferation, i.e., growth. Our cells have checks and balances in them to regulate cell growth, differentiation and even programmed suicide when a cell malfunctions—all controlled by genes.

Breast cancer, along with other types of cancer, is caused by a malfunction in these control mechanisms that leads to uncontrolled cellular growth and tumor formation. What prevents the malfunction and keeps these genes doing their job? The internal environment.

The regulation of estrogen, insulin and insulin growth factors—the hormones that can play a role in the development of breast cancer—are all controlled by the foods we eat, the exercise we get, and the stress we endure.

Research is also showing that a diet rich in plant-based calcium increases 2 hydroxyestrogen, which stops cell growth. Cruciferous vegetables—Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and bok choy—provide this protection.

According to the International Journal of Cancer, “the phytochemical indole-3-carbinol (I3C), from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, has been shown to elicit a potent anti-proliferative response in human breast-cancer cell lines.” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found the use of indol-3-carbinol (the plant chemical found in cruciferous vegetables) can increase 2 hydroxyestrogen which, again, inhibits cell growth in breast tissue.

It goes on to say “these results support the feasibility of using diet-derived compounds to alter estrogen metabolism in a direction that should have a protective effect against breast cancer.”

Here’s cancer research at it’s best. If a natural compound has been shown to modify breast cancer growth and proliferation, should this not be headlines in the national press?

Where is the disconnect between the scientific research and what the public receives?

Resources:

Bradlow H L, Minchnovicz J J, Halper M, et al. Long-term responses of women to idol-3-carbinol or a high fiber diet. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 1994;3:591-595

Brew C T, Aronchik I, Jocelyn C H, et al. Indole-3-carbinol activates the atm signaling pathway independent of dan damage to stabilize p53 and induce g1 arrest of human mammary epithelial cells. International Journal of Cancer: 118, 857-868 (2006)

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