An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

Posts tagged ‘Cancer’

The Benefits Of Black Seed Oil

The term “black seed oil” may not be familiar, but it is the general label given to oil extracted from certain seeds, including black cumin, black sesame, black caraway, Roman coriander and onion seed. However, though many people may not be familiar with this term, it has been the subject of research in over 630 peer-reviewed articles due to its amazing health benefits.

The benefits of this oil largely stem from its active ingredients, potent phytochemicals, botanically-based compounds which give potent health benefits to their parent plants. One of these is thymol, which also gives essential oil of thyme its amazing medical properties. Read on to learn more about what including black seed oil can do for you.

Fights Cancer
Due to its high levels of phytochemicals, many of which have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, black seek oil has been the subject of many studies for its ability to treat cancer. In one study out of Croatia, scientists studying the properties of two active ingredients of black seed oil, thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone, and found that they reduced the size of tumors by 52%.

Supports Liver Function
The liver is arguably one of the most important organs in the body, and one of the most significant of its functions is to help detect and remove toxins and other harmful substances from the body. It is thus important for overall human health. Use of black seed oil can help support good hepatic function and protect the liver from damage or disease.

Helps Treat Diabetes
In one study published recently in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that black seed oil can help to partially regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas. These beta cells are what produces insulin, the hormone which the body uses to take glucose out of the blood cells and deliver it to other cells of the body for insulin. This could make it important for both main types of diabetes.

Aids Weight Loss
Last June, the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders published a literature review of plants which have been discovered to have anti-obesity properties. Black seed oil was discovered to be one of the most effective and potent on this list. It aids weight loss on a number of levels, including curbing the appetite naturally, regulating blood sugar levels and aiding in absorption of glucose by the intestines.

Restores Hair Loss
Perhaps one of the most unique features of black seed oil is its ability to restore hair loss. The method by which it is able to accomplish this is not quite clear, though researchers suspect that it might have something to do with the oil’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. At any rate, is have been shown to have a positive effect on the hair follicles and to promote the growth of thick, healthy hair.
These are just five of the reasons to consider the use of black seed oil in your diet. The potent active phytochemicals help your body in all sorts of ways, and it is very likely that the full extent of their beneficial powers has yet to be discovered!
Sources:
More From Meghan: draxe.comhealthyandnaturalworld.com,  oilhealthbenefits.com

Coenzyme Q10 (PDQ®)–Patient Version

Healthy Origins Coq10 - 400 Mg - 60 Softgels

Overview

Questions and Answers About Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

  1. What is CoQ10?

    CoQ10 is a compound that is made naturally in the body. The Q and the 10 in coenzyme Q10 refer to the groups of chemicals that make up the coenzyme. CoQ10 is also known by these other names:

    • Q10.
    • Vitamin Q10.
    • Ubiquinone.
    • Ubidecarenone.

    A coenzyme helps an enzyme do its job. An enzyme is a protein that speeds up the rate at which natural chemical reactions take place in cells of the body. The body’s cells use CoQ10 to make energy needed for the cells to grow and stay healthy. The body also uses CoQ10 as an antioxidant. An antioxidant is a substance that protects cells from chemicals called free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Genes, which are pieces of DNA, tell the cells how to work in the body and when to grow and divide. Damage to DNA has been linked to some kinds of cancer. By protecting cells against free radicals, antioxidants help protect the body against cancer.

    CoQ10 is found in most body tissues. The highest amounts are found in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. The lowest amounts are found in the lungs. The amount of CoQ10 in tissues decreases as people get older.

  2. What is the history of the discovery and use of CoQ10 as a complementary or alternative treatment for cancer?

    CoQ10 was first identified in 1957. Its chemical structure was determined in 1958. Interest in CoQ10 as a possible treatment for cancer began in 1961, when it was found that some cancer patients had a lower than normal amount of it in their blood. Low blood levels of CoQ10 have been found in patients with myeloma, lymphoma, and cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, pancreas, colon, kidney, and head and neck.

    Research about how CoQ10 plays a key role in the way cells make energy was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1978.

    Studies suggest that CoQ10 may help the immune system work better. Partly because of this, CoQ10 is used as adjuvant therapy for cancer. Adjuvant therapy is treatment given following the primary treatment to lower the risk that the cancer will come back.

  3. What is the theory behind the claim that CoQ10 is useful in treating cancer?

    CoQ10 may be useful in treating cancer because it boosts the immune system. Also, studies suggest that CoQ10 analogs (drugs that are similar to CoQ10) may prevent the growth of cancer cells directly. As an antioxidant, CoQ10 may help prevent cancer from developing.

    Refer to the PDQ health professional summary on Coenzyme Q10 for more information on the theory behind the study of CoQ10 in the treatment of cancer.

  4. How is CoQ10 administered?

    CoQ10 is usually taken by mouth as a pill (tablet or capsule). It may also be given by injection into a vein (IV). In animal studies, CoQ10 is given by injection.

  5. Have any preclinical (laboratory or animal) studies been conducted using CoQ10?

    A number of preclinical studies have been done with CoQ10. Research in a laboratory or using animals is done to find out if a drug, procedure, or treatment is likely to be useful in humans. These preclinical studies are done before any testing in humans is begun. Most laboratory studies of CoQ10 have looked at its chemical structure and how it works in the body. The following has been reported from preclinical studies of CoQ10 and cancer:

    • Animal studies found that CoQ10 boosts the immune system and helps the body fight certain infections and types of cancer.
    • CoQ10 helped to protect the hearts of study animals that were given the anticancer drug doxorubicin, an anthracycline that can cause damage to the heart muscle.
    • Laboratory and animal studies have shown that analogs (drugs that are similar to CoQ10) may stop cancer cells from growing.
  6. Have any clinical trials (research studies with humans) of CoQ10 been conducted?

    There have been no well-designed clinical trials involving large numbers of patients to study the use of CoQ10 in cancer treatment. There have been some clinical trials with small numbers of people, but the way the studies were done and the amount of information reported made it unclear if benefits were caused by the CoQ10 or by something else. Most of the trials were not randomized or controlled. Randomized controlled trials give the highest level of evidence:

    • In randomized trials, volunteers are assigned randomly (by chance) to one of 2 or more groups that compare different factors related to the treatment.
    • In controlled trials, one group (called the control group) does not receive the new treatment being studied. The control group is then compared to the groups that receive the new treatment, to see if the new treatment makes a difference.

    Some research studies are published in scientific journals. Most scientific journals have experts who review research reports before they are published, to make sure that the evidence and conclusions are sound. This is called peer review. Studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals are considered better evidence. No randomized clinical trials of CoQ10 as a treatment for cancer have been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

    The following has been reported from studies of CoQ10 in humans:

    Randomized trials of CoQ10 and doxorubicin

    • A randomized trial of 20 children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia or non-Hodgkin lymphoma looked at whether CoQ10 would protect the heart from the damage caused by the anthracycline drug doxorubicin. The results of this trial and others have shown that CoQ10 decreases the harmful effects of doxorubicin on the heart.
    • In a larger trial, 236 patients treated for breast cancer were randomized to receive oral supplements of either 300 mg CoQ10 or placebo, each combined with 300 IU vitamin E, for 24 weeks. The study found that levels of fatigue and quality of life were not improved in patients who received CoQ10 plus vitamin E compared to patients who received the placebo.

    Studies of CoQ10 as an adjuvant therapy for breast cancer

    Small studies have been done on the use of CoQ10 after standard treatment in patients with breast cancer:

    • In a study of CoQ10 in 32 breast cancer patients, it was reported that some signs and symptoms of cancer went away in 6 patients. Details were given for only 3 of the 6 patients. The researchers also reported that all the patients in the study used less pain medicine, had improved quality of life, and did not lose weight during treatment.
    • In another study led by the same researchers, 3 breast cancer patients were given high-dose CoQ10 and followed for 3 to 5 years. The study reported that one patient had complete remission of cancer that had spread to the liver, another had remission of cancer that had spread to the chest wall, and the third had no breast cancer found after surgery.

    It is not clear, however, if the benefits reported in these studies were caused by CoQ10 therapy or something else. The studies had the following weaknesses:

    • The studies were not randomized or controlled.
    • The patients used other supplements in addition to CoQ10.
    • The patients received standard treatments before or during the CoQ10 therapy.
    • Details were not reported for all patients in the studies.

    Anecdotal reports of CoQ10

    Anecdotal reports are incomplete descriptions of the medical and treatment history of one or more patients. There have been anecdotal reports that CoQ10 has helped some cancer patients live longer, including patients with cancers of the pancreas, lung, colon, rectum, and prostate. The patients described in these reports, however, also received treatments other than CoQ10, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

    In a follow-up study, two patients who had breast cancer remaining after surgery were treated with CoQ10 for 3 to 4 months. It was reported that after treatment with CoQ10, the cancer was completely gone in both patients.

  7. Have any side effects or risks been reported from CoQ10?

    No serious side effects have been reported from the use of CoQ10. The most common side effects include the following:

    • Insomnia (being unable to fall sleep or stay asleep).
    • Higher than normal levels of liver enzymes.
    • Rashes.
    • Nausea.
    • Pain in the upper part of the abdomen.
    • Dizziness.
    • Feeling sensitive to light.
    • Feeling irritable.
    • Headache.
    • Heartburn.
    • Feeling very tired.

    It is important to check with health care providers to find out if CoQ10 can be safely used along with other drugs. Certain drugs, such as those that are used to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood sugar levels, may decrease the effects of CoQ10. CoQ10 may change way the body uses warfarin (a drug that prevents the blood from clotting) and insulin.

    As noted in Question 1, the body uses CoQ10 as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals. Some conventional cancer therapies, such as anticancer drugs and radiation treatment, kill cancer cells in part by causing free radicals to form. Researchers are studying whether using CoQ10 along with conventional therapies has any effect, good or bad, on the way these conventional therapies work in the body.

  8. Is CoQ10 approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a cancer treatment in the United States?

    CoQ10 is sold as a dietary supplement and is not approved by the FDA for use as a cancer treatment. Dietary supplements are products meant to be added to the diet. They are not drugs and are not meant to treat, prevent, or cure diseases. The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that the product is safe and that the label claims are truthful and not misleading. The FDA does not approve dietary supplements as safe or effective before they are sold. Also, the way companies make CoQ10 is not regulated. Different batches and brands of CoQ10 supplements may be different from each other.

Current Clinical Trials

Check the list of NCI-supported cancer clinical trials for cancer CAM clinical trials on coenzyme Q10 that are actively enrolling patients.

General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI website.

About This PDQ Summary

About PDQ

Physician Data Query (PDQ) is the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) comprehensive cancer information database. The PDQ database contains summaries of the latest published information on cancer prevention, detection, genetics, treatment, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine. Most summaries come in two versions. The health professional versions have detailed information written in technical language. The patient versions are written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language. Both versions have cancer information that is accurate and up to date and most versions are also available in Spanish.

PDQ is a service of the NCI. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH is the federal government’s center of biomedical research. The PDQ summaries are based on an independent review of the medical literature. They are not policy statements of the NCI or the NIH.

Purpose of This Summary

This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the use of coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of people with cancer. It is meant to inform and help patients, families, and caregivers. It does not give formal guidelines or recommendations for making decisions about health care.

Reviewers and Updates

Editorial Boards write the PDQ cancer information summaries and keep them up to date. These Boards are made up of experts in cancer treatment and other specialties related to cancer. The summaries are reviewed regularly and changes are made when there is new information. The date on each summary (“Date Last Modified”) is the date of the most recent change.

The information in this patient summary was taken from the health professional version, which is reviewed regularly and updated as needed, by the PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board.

Clinical Trial Information

A clinical trial is a study to answer a scientific question, such as whether one treatment is better than another. Trials are based on past studies and what has been learned in the laboratory. Each trial answers certain scientific questions in order to find new and better ways to help cancer patients. During treatment clinical trials, information is collected about the effects of a new treatment and how well it works. If a clinical trial shows that a new treatment is better than one currently being used, the new treatment may become “standard.” Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.

Clinical trials are listed in PDQ and can be found online at NCI’s website. Many cancer doctors who take part in clinical trials are also listed in PDQ. For more information, call the Cancer Information Service 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

Disclaimer

The information in these summaries should not be used to make decisions about insurance reimbursement. More information on insurance coverage is available on Cancer.gov on the Managing Cancer Care page.

Contact Us

More information about contacting us or receiving help with the Cancer.gov website can be found on our Contact Us for Help page. Questions can also be submitted to Cancer.gov through the website’s E-mail Us.

Zinc Deficiencies Are A Global Concern

 

Image

Although other vitamins and nutrients get more attention in the media, experts now believe as many as two billion people around the world have diets deficient in Zinc. Studies at Oregon State University and elsewhere are raising concerns about the health implications this means for infectious disease, immune function, DNA damage and cancer.

One new study has found DNA damage in humans is caused by only minor zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency is quite common in the developing world. Even in the United States, about 12 percent of the population is probably at risk for Zinc deficiency, and perhaps as many as 40 percent of the elderly, due to inadequate dietary intake and less absorption of this essential nutrient, experts say. Many or most people have never been tested for Zinc status.

“Zinc deficiencies have been somewhat under the radar because we just don’t know that much about mechanisms that control its absorption, role, or even how to test for it in people with any accuracy,” explained an associate professor with the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU, and international expert on the role of dietary zinc.

Studies have shown that Zinc is essential to protecting against oxidative stress and helping DNA repair, meaning that in the face of Zinc deficiency, the body’s ability to repair genetic damage may be decreasing even as the amount of damage is increasing.

Two studies recently published, in the Journal of Nutrition and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found significant levels of DNA damage both with laboratory animals and in apparently healthy men who have low Zinc intake. Zinc depletion caused strands of their DNA to break, and increasing the intake of Zinc reversed the damage back to normal levels.

“In one clinical study with men, we were able to see increases in DNA damage from zinc deficiency even before existing tests, like decreased plasma zinc levels, could spot the zinc deficiency. An inadequate level of Zinc intake clearly has consequences for cellular health.”

Many Zinc studies have focused on prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men, because the prostate gland has one of the highest concentrations of Zinc in the body, for reasons that are not clearly known.

When prostate glands become cancerous, their level of Zinc drops precipitously, and some studies have suggested that increasing Zinc in the prostate may at least help prevent prostate cancer and could potentially be a therapeutic strategy. There are concerns about the relationship of Zinc intake to esophageal, breast, and head and neck cancers. And the reduced Zinc status that occurs with ageing may also contribute to a higher incidence of infection and autoimmune diseases, researchers said in one study in the Journal of Nutrition.

Zinc is naturally found associated with proteins in such meats as beef and poultry, and in even higher levels in shellfish such as oysters. It’s available in plants but poorly absorbed from them, raising additional concerns for vegetarians. And inadequate intake is so prevalent in the elderly, the researcher said, that they should usually consider taking a Zinc supplement and multivitamin to ensure adequate levels.

Zinc is an essential micronutrient for numerous cellular processes. “The consequences of Zinc deficiency in adults have not yet been sufficiently studied despite the recognition of symptoms of Zinc deficiency for decades,” researchers wrote in one recent report. “A considerable body of evidence suggests that Zinc deficiency may increase the risk of some chronic diseases, including cancer. This link may be attributed to the role of Zinc in antioxidant defence and DNA damage repair.”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Who Is Less Likely to Develop Cancer?

ImageVegetarians will develop less blood, bladder and stomach cancer than meat eaters, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The grouping of two studies featured more than 61,000 vegetarians over a time span of 12 years and found they contracted less cancer, independent of factors such as smoking, alcohol use and obesity than those who consumed meat or fish or both.

Differences in stomach and bowel cancer rates were not as pronounced as may have been expected based on previous research. It is interesting to note, vegetarians had slightly higher, but not significantly so, rates of colon and rectum cancer.

Cervical cancer rates were twice that of meat-eaters among vegetarians. Breast and prostate cancer rates were similar, although there was less risk for prostate cancer among fish eaters than meat eaters.

Participants were drawn from a pool of British men and women who were either meat eaters and/or fish eaters or vegetarians. Of the total study population, 3,350 were diagnosed with one or more of the twenty cancers the researchers tested for.

They noted that 33 out of a hundred meat eaters will develop some form of cancer compared to 29 out of 100 non-meat eaters.

For some cancers such as multiple myeloma, which strikes bone marrow, vegetarians were 75 per cent less likely develop the condition.

Cancers of the blood and lymph such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma were 50 per cent less likely in vegetarians than carnivores.”At the moment these findings are not strong enough to ask for particularly large changes in the diets of people following an average balanced diet. More research is needed to substantiate these results and to look for reasons for the differences,” explained the lead researcher from the Cancer Research UK epidemiology unit at Oxford University.

The researchers said the reasons for lower cancer rates among vegetarians were not clear but suggested it could be down to viruses and mutation-causing compounds found in meat such as N-nitroso which are thought to damage DNA.

The temperatures at which meats are cooked could also produce damaging carcinogens.

The study population contained 15,571 men and 45,995 women, one third of whom were vegetarian.

Levels of physical activity were higher in vegetarians and fish-only eaters than in meat eaters, who also had higher body mass index readings (BMIs).

But the researchers said none of the findings were conclusive despite some evidence linking, for instance, high intake of fruit and vegetables and onset rates of some cancers.

“There is also some evidence that a high intake of fruit and vegetables might reduce the risk for stomach cancer, but the data are not consistent and, although on average vegetarians eat more fruit and vegetables than meat eaters, the difference in intake is modest,” they wrote.

Source: British Journal of Cancer (2009) 101, 192-197. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605098 ‘Cancer incidence in British vegetarians’

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Cruciferous Vegetables May Significantly Improve Breast Cancer Survival!

more cruciferous veggies

A study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention investigators reveals that breast cancer survivors who eat more cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, spinach and kale, as well as cabbage and cauliflower may have improved survival.

The study was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Breast cancer survivors should follow the accepted nutritional guidelines of eating vegetables daily and specifically increase intake of cruciferous vegetables including: broccoli greens, cabbage and cauliflower as part of a total healthy dietary regimen.
Researchers investigated the role of cruciferous vegetables in breast cancer survival among women in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, a prospective study of 4,886 Chinese breast cancer survivors who were diagnosed with stage 1 to stage 4 breast cancer from the period 2002 to 2006.

After adjusting for lifestyle factors, demographics and clinical characteristics, the researchers determined cruciferous vegetable intake during the first 36 months after breast cancer diagnosis was associated with a reduced risk for total mortality, specific breast cancer mortality and recurrence of the disease. Survival rates were influenced by vegetable consumption. Women who regularly ate more of these vegetables, their risk of death or cancer recurrence decreased.

Women who were in the highest quartiles of intake of vegetables per day had a 62 percent reduced risk of total mortality, 62 percent reduced risk of breast cancer mortality, and 35 percent reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence, compared to women with the lowest quartile of intake.

Cruciferous vegetable consumption habits  differ between China and the United States; The amount of dietary intake of these vegetables among Chinese women is much higher than that of U.S. women.

The most commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables in China include turnips, Chinese cabbage (bok choy) and greens; In the United States and other Western countries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the most commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables.

The key nutritional advantage of cruciferous vegetables is they contain powerful protective phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates and indoles; these appear have the beneficial protective effect against some types of cancer. The levels of these bioactive compounds, which play a key role in the anticancer effects of cruciferous vegetables, depends on the amount and type of cruciferous vegetables regularly consumed.

Future studies will measure the bioactive isothio-cyanate and indole compounds in these vegetables and the host factors that may influence their protective effects to improve the understanding of the association between cruciferous vegetable consumption and breast cancer outcomes.
cruciferous veggies
Reference: Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2012, April 3) “Eating cruciferous vegetables may improve breast cancer survival.”
This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

How Eating Broccoli Helps Prevent Cancer

broccoli

broccoli (Photo credit: wanko)

How Eating Broccoli Helps Prevent Cancer

Eat Your Broccoli, Cauliflower
and Kale To Help Prevent Cancer.
Here’s Why…

Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have discovered a key factor for why the “sulforaphane“compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables is
so good for you. It provides two ways to
prevent cancer through the complex
mechanism called epigenetics.

Epigenetics is an increasing focus of research around the world; It refers not only to our genetic code, but also to the way that diet, toxins and other elements can change which genes get activated.

This can play a significant role in everything
from cancer to heart disease and other major
health issues.

Sulforaphane is one of the most important compounds that provide the health benefits in cruciferous vegetables; Scientists also knew that
a mechanism involved was histone deacetylases
also known as HDACs. This family of enzymes
can interfere with the normal function of genes
that suppress tumors. HDAC inhibitors, such as sulforaphane, has the ability to help restore proper balance and prevent the development of cancer.

It’s one of the most promising areas of cancer research today. The new Oregon State University studies have found a second epigenetic mechanism called DNA methylation, which plays a similar role.

Researchers explained this one-two punch is important to cell function and the control of cell division. When disrupted, it is a sign of cancer.

“Cancer is very complex and it’s usually not just one thing that has gone wrong,” the researchers said. “It’s increasingly clear that sulforaphane is a real multi-tasker. The more we find out about it,
the more benefits it appears to have.”

DNA methylation, they said, is a normal process
of turning off genes, and it helps control what
DNA material gets read as part of genetic communication within cells. In cancer that process gets mixed up. And of considerable interest to researchers is that these same disrupted processes appear to play a role in other
neuro-degenerative diseases, as well as cardiovascular disease, immune function
and the aging process.

The research was published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics; It primarily studied the effect on prostate cancer cells, but the same processes
are probably relevant to many other cancers
including colon and breast cancer.

“With these processes, the key is balance” the researchers said. “DNA methylation is a natural process, and when properly controlled is helpful.
But when the balance gets mixed up it can cause havoc, and that’s where the critical nutrients are involved. They help restore the balance.”

Sulforaphane is particularly abundant in broccoli and in other cruciferous vegetables such as kale and cauliflower . Laboratory and clinical studies have shown that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables can aid in cancer prevention.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the OSU Environmental Health Sciences Center.

 

Story Source: Oregon State University.

Journal Reference: Promoter de-methylation of cyclin D2 by sulforaphane in prostate cancer cells. Clinical Epigenetics, 2011

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Folate (Folic Acid) Reported To Help Reduce Pre-Menopa​usal Breast Cancer Risk

Specific Vitamins & Minerals Continue To Be Studied For Cancer Risk Reduction And Supporting Optimum Health…

Increased intakes of folate (folic acid) may reduce the risk of breast cancer, but the benefits may be linked to a woman’s menopausal state, suggests a new study.

Pre-menopausal women with the highest average intakes of folate from the diet are at a 40 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer, according to new findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study was conducted with women in China where there’s no mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid, during the course of the study. In the US, grain products have been fortified with folic acid since 1998.

As a result, only 13 percent of the Chinese women had folate levels that matched or exceeded the US recommended dietary allowance, wrote researchers from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the Shanghai Cancer Institute.

“Thus, it is possible that the relation with folate intake among pre- menopausal women may be due to a difference in folate insufficiency versus sufficiency.

“In support of this possibility, the present study appeared to have a threshold effect for folate intake that was achieved between the first and second quintiles of intake, with no added benefit beyond that level, ” the researchers explained.

Over one million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, with the highest incidences in the US and the Netherlands. China has the lowest incidence and mortality rate of the disease.

Hormone-sensitive estrogen-receptor (ER) positive and progesterone-receptor (PR) positive tumors are said to be the most common type diagnosed among breast cancer patients in the US. These tumors are stimulated to grow by the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Study Details

Data from Shanghai Women’s Health Study (1997-2008) for 72,861 participants aged between 40 and 70 was used to assess potential relationships between intakes of folate, niacin, and vitamin B6 and B12 and incidence of breast cancer.

During the course of the study 718 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. After analyzing the numbers, the researchers report no link between vitamin B6 and B12 intakes and the risk of breast cancer in both pre- and post-menopausal women.

Only folate intake was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer and this was limited to premenopausal women. Specifically, average intakes of 404 micrograms per day were associated with a 42 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer, compared with average intakes of 194 micrograms per day.

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology

2011, Volume 173, Issue 10 (Pages 1171-1182)

“Dietary B Vitamin and Methionine Intakes and Breast Cancer Risk Among Chinese Women”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

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