Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Soy phytoestrogens may block estrogen effects

16.01.2006


Research in monkeys suggests that the natural plant estrogens found in soy do not increase markers of breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. In fact, they may provide a protective effect in some women. The research is reported today in Cancer Research.



"Even at high doses, we found no evidence that the estrogen-like compounds in soy, called isoflavones, stimulate cell growth or other markers for cancer risk in breast tissue," said Charles E. Wood, D.V.M., Ph.D., lead researcher, from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "The study also suggests that women who have higher levels of estrogen may actually gain a protective effect from higher doses of soy isoflavones."

Wood said there has been much debate about whether higher levels of dietary soy are safe or beneficial for postmenopausal women. Some evidence has suggested that isoflavones may protect against the more powerful estrogen produced by the body, which is an important risk factor for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. For example, population studies show that women who consume diets high in soy generally have lower rates of breast cancer.


On the other hand, soy isoflavones have been shown to stimulate breast cancer cells in mice and in cells grown in the laboratory.

"Our study sought to make sense of these seemingly contradictory data," said Wood. "Our hypothesis was that estrogen levels in the body may influence the effects of soy isoflavones."

Wood and colleagues evaluated the effects of dietary isoflavones in the presence of different levels of estrogen by rotating 31 postmenopausal cynomolgus monkeys through eight different diets. Each diet contained one of four different isoflavone doses along with either a low or a high dose of estrogen.

Isoflavone doses were equivalent to the following human levels: no isoflavones, 60 milligrams (comparable to the typical Asian diet), 120 milligrams (the highest levels that can be consumed through diet alone), or 240 milligrams (levels obtained through supplements). Estrogen doses were designed to mimic either a low or high-estrogen environment found in postmenopausal women. Estrogen levels in postmenopausal women can vary depending on their amounts of body fat, which produces estrogen, and whether they are taking hormone therapy.

The researchers measured how the diets affected markers for breast cancer risk, including breast cell proliferation. In the low-estrogen environment, no evidence of increased proliferation was seen at any level of isoflavone exposure, even at doses almost several times higher than in a typical Asian diet.

In the high-estrogen environment, there was higher breast cell proliferation both when isoflavones weren’t in the diet and when they were present in lower doses. However, the addition of high levels of dietary soy isoflavones tended to block estrogen effects in breast tissue. This finding suggests that postmenopausal women with higher levels of estrogen may derive the greatest benefit from soy.

"For women at increased risk of breast cancer due to higher estrogen levels, a diet rich in soy isoflavones may offer a modest breast-protective effect," said Wood. However, he said the study may not apply to premenopausal women, who have higher and more dynamic hormone levels, or to women taking combined hormone therapy with an estrogen and a progestin.

The senior investigator of the study was J. Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D. Other researchers involved in the study were Thomas C. Register, Ph.D., and Mary S. Anthony, Ph.D., both from Wake Forest Baptist, and Adrian A. Franke, Ph.D., from the Cancer Center of Hawaii.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>