Is Soy Healthy for Breast Cancer Survivors?

Soyfoods have become controversial in recent years,…even among health professionals,…exacerbated by misinformation found on the Internet.” Chief among the misconceptions is that soy foods promote breast cancer, because they contain a class of  phytoestrogen compounds called isoflavones. Since estrogens can promote breast cancer growth, it’s natural to assume phytoestrogens might too.

But, people don’t realize there are two types of estrogen receptors in the body—alpha and beta. And, unlike actual estrogen, soy phytoestrogens “preferentially bind to and activate [estrogen receptor beta]. This distinction is important, because the 2 [types of receptors] have different tissue distributions…and often function differently, and sometimes in opposite ways.” And, this appears to be the case in the breast, where beta activation has an anti-estrogenic effect, inhibiting the growth-promoting effects of actual estrogen—something we’ve known for more than ten years. There’s no excuse anymore.

The effects of estradiol, the primary human estrogen, on breast cells are completely opposite to those of soy phytoestrogens, which have antiproliferative effects on breast cancer cells, even at the low concentrations one gets in one’s bloodstream eating just a few servings of soy—which makes sense, given that after eating a cup of soybeans, the levels in our blood cause significant beta receptor activation.

So, where did this outdated notion that soy could increase breast cancer risk come from? The concern was “based largely on research that showed that [the main soy phytoestrogen] genistein stimulates the growth of mammary tumors in [a type of] mouse.” But, it turns out, we’re not actually mice. We metabolize soy isoflavones very differently from rodents. The same soy leads to 20 to 150 times higher levels in the bloodstream of rodents. The breast cancer mouse in question was 58 times higher. So, if you ate 58 cups of soybeans a day, you could get some significant alpha activation, too. But, thankfully, we’re not hairless athymic ovariectomized mice, and we don’t tend to eat 58 cups of soybeans a day.

At just a few servings of soy a day, with the excess beta activation, we would assume soy would actively help prevent breast cancer. And, indeed, “[s]oy intake during childhood, adolescence, and adult life were each associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer.” Those women who ate the most soy in their youth appear to grow up to have less than half the risk.

This may help explain why breast cancer rates are so much higher here than in Asia—yet, when Asians come over to the U.S. to start eating and living like Americans, their risk shoots right up.  For example, women in Connecticut—way at the top of the breast cancer risk heap—in their fifties have, like, ten times more breast cancer than women in their fifties living in Japan. But, it’s not just genetic, since when they move here, their breast cancer rates go up generation after generation, as they assimilate into our culture.

Are the anti-estrogenic effects of soy foods enough to actually change the course of the disease? We didn’t know, until the first human study on soy food intake and breast cancer survival was published in 2009 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggesting that “[a]mong women with breast cancer, soy food consumption was significantly associated with decreased risk of death and [breast cancer] recurrence.” Followed by another study, and then another, all with similar findings.

That was enough for the American Cancer Society, who brought together a wide range of cancer experts to offer nutrition guidelines for cancer survivors, to conclude that, if anything, soy foods should be beneficial. Since then, two additional studies have been published, for a total of five, and they all point in the same direction. Five out of five, tracking more than 10,000 breast cancer patients.

Pooling all the results, soy food intake after breast cancer diagnosis was associated with reduced mortality (meaning a longer lifespan) and reduced recurrence—so, less likely the cancer comes back. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t cracked a journal open in seven years.

And, this improved survival was for both women with estrogen receptor negative tumors and estrogen receptor positive tumors, and for both younger women, and for older women. Pass the edamame.

Doctor’s Note

This is probably the same reason flax seeds are so protective. See Flax Seeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Epidemiological Evidence and Flax Seeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Clinical Evidence.

What about women who carry breast cancer genes? I touched on that in BRCA Breast Cancer Genes & Soy, and it’s the topic of my next video, Should Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer Avoid Soy?

What about genetically modified soy? I made a video abut that too; see GMO Soy & Breast Cancer.

Who Shouldn’t Eat Soy? Glad you asked. Watch that video too! 🙂

Not all phytoestrogens may be protective, though. See The Most Potent Phytoestrogen is in Beer and What are the Effects of the Hops Phytoestrogen in Beer?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

Nice & Easy Beet Salad Recipe

A great source of iron, vitamins and JOY! Beets are delicious and healthy! They will clean your liver and kidneys, supply great amount of nutrients and leave you happy 🙂

What you need:

  • 5-6 beets, peeled, cooked until fork-tender and cut to cubes (or sliced. Depends of how you like it to look like!)
  • 1 large purple onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 spoons olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
  • 1 spoon maple syrup 

What to do:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving. 

Enjoy!

To get more of these great recipes visit Neeva’s website  The Innergy

How to Block Breast Cancer’s Estrogen-Producing Enzymes

The vast majority of breast cancers start out “hormone-dependent,” meaning the primary human estrogen, called “estradiol plays a crucial role in [breast cancer] development and progression.” That’s one of the reasons why soy food consumption appears so protective against breast cancer—because soy phytoestrogens, like genistein, act as estrogen-blockers. They block the binding of estrogens, like estradiol, to breast cancer cells.

But, wait a second. “The majority of breast cancers occur [after menopause], when the ovaries have [stopped producing estrogen].” What’s the point of eating estrogen blockers if there’s no estrogen to block? It turns out the breast cancer tumors themselves produce their own estrogen from scratch to fuel their own growth.

Estrogens may be formed in breast tumors by multiple pathways. The breast cancer takes cholesterol, and, using the aromatase enzyme, or two hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzymes, produces its own estrogen.

So, there’s two ways to stop breast cancer. One is to use “antiestrogens,” estrogen-blockers, like the soy phytoestrogens, or “the anti-estrogen [drug] tamoxifen…However, another way to block estradiol is by using anti-enzymes” to prevent the breast cancer from making all the estrogen in the first place.

And, indeed, there are a variety of anti-aromatase drugs in current use. In fact, inhibiting the estrogen production has been shown to be “more effective” than just trying to block the effects of the estrogen—”suggesting that the inhibition of estrogen synthesis is clinically very important for the treatment of estrogen-dependent breast cancer.” It turns out soy phytoestrogens can do both.

Using ovary cells taken from women undergoing in vitro fertilization, soy phytoestrogens were found to reduce the expression of the aromatase enzyme. What about in breast cancer cells, though? Breast cancer cells, too—not only suppressing aromatase activity, but the other estrogen-producing enzyme, too.

But, this is in a petri dish. Does soy suppress estrogen production in people too Well, circulating estrogen levels appear significantly lower in Japanese women than American white women. And, Japan does have the highest per capita soy food consumption. But, you don’t know it’s the soy until you put it to the test. Japanese women were randomized to add soymilk to their diet—or not—for a few months. Estrogen levels did seem to drop about a quarter in the soymilk-supplemented group. Interestingly, when they tried the same experiment in men, they got similar results: a significant drop in female hormone levels, with no change in testosterone levels.

These results, though, are in Japanese men and women that were already consuming soy in their baseline diet. So, it’s really just looking at “higher versus lower…soy intake.”

What happens if you give soymilk to women in Texas? Circulating estrogen levels cut in half. Since increased estrogen levels are a “[marker] for high risk for breast cancer,” the effectiveness of soy to reduce estrogen levels may help explain why Chinese and Japanese women have such low rates of breast cancer.

And, what was truly remarkable is that estrogen levels stayed down a month or two, even after they stopped drinking it. This suggests you don’t have to consume soy every day to have the cancer-protective benefit.

Doctor’s Note

Wait, soy protects against breast cancer? Yes, in study after study after study. Even in women at high risk? See BRCA Breast Cancer Genes & Soy.

Even if you already have breast cancer? See Is Soy Healthy for Breast Cancer Survivors?

Even GMO soy? See GMO Soy & Breast Cancer.

Okay, then, Who Shouldn’t Eat Soy? Watch that video too! 🙂

What else can we do to decrease breast cancer risk? See:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

Amazing Banana & Almond Milk Protein Shake

 I thought I tried them all: all kinds of fruit and vegetable combinations in shakes and smoothies. So I thought. And then one day I sit in an amazing vegan raw restaurant in Toronto,“Rawlicious”, enjoying all kinds of salads and raw sandwiches (super yummy! Great place!) when a kind waitress  asking me if I’d like to try their new almond shake. I’m the last person on earth that will say no to any kind of tasting in a good vegan restaurant, and so I got this fabulous shake to my table. It had this delicious taste that makes you run and beg for the recipe… and so I did!

After trying this at home I made my own little changes, like adding the ground coriander seeds and the pumpkin seeds (after all, I try to add some good health into every recipe).

Here is the recipe of the best almond banana shake, for the benefit of all man kind.

What you need:

  • 1 cup almond milk (no advertising here, but I like “SILK” brand the best. Unless, of course, you make your own almond milk at home, which is the best).
  • 1 ripe banana (no ripe – no good).
  • Optional: 1 spoon raw pumpkin seeds (huge natural, healthy iron blast!).
  • 1 tbs grounded cinnamon.
  • 1 tbs grounded coriander seeds.
  • Optional for extra sweetness: 1 madjul date. If you like it very sweet.

What to do:

Blend it all in a blender.  When ready, you may sprinkle some cinnamon on top for garnish. Share with the special people in your life!

Enjoy!

To get more of these great recipes visit Neeva’s website  The Innergy

How To Have A High Calorie Healthy Breakfast (Dairy & Sugar Free)

How to have over a 1,000 calories for breakfast and feel great!! Before taking your morning walk or beginning your exercise routine try the following:

Before Exercise Routine:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 apples

Slice organic fruit and eat.

After Exercise Routine:

  • 1 mango
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk

Blend all organic ingredients together and drink.

It’s just 10 am and I have tons of great energy and a big smile on my face!

Enjoy!

To get more of these great recipes visit Neeva’s website  The Innergy

 

BRCA Breast Cancer Genes & Soy Consumption Research Results

Why do people who eat legumes—beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils—live longer? Well, men and women who eat legumes tended towards being lighter, having a slimmer waist, lower blood sugars, lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides, better kidney function, lower blood pressure, and so—no surprise—may live longer. But, interestingly, bean intake was “a better protectant against mortality in women than men.” They think this may be because cancer was the leading killer of women in this population—especially breast cancer. And, we know that breast cancer survivors who eat soy foods, for example, have a significantly lower likelihood of the cancer recurrence. Eating soy foods appears to protect against the cancer coming back. This 2012 review looked at three prospective human studies done to date, and found that women who ate the most soy had a 29% lower risk of dying from breast cancer, and a 36% lower risk of cancer recurrence. And, a fourth study was since published, and it showed the same thing. “[S]oy food intake is associated with longer survival and lower recurrence among breast cancer patients. With an average intake of soy phytonutrients above 17 milligrams a day, which is about what’s found in a single cup of soy milk, the mortality of breast cancer may be able to be reduced by as much as 38%.

Here’s the survival curve over five years. The purple line represents the survival of the women with the highest soy consumption. As you can see, after two years, all the breast cancer survivors eating lots of soy were still alive. But, a quarter to a third of the women who ate the least soy were dead. And, after five years, 90% of the tofu-lovers were still alive and kicking, whereas half of the tofu-haters kicked the bucket. And, you can see a similar relationship when you look at breast cancer survival and soy protein intake, as opposed to soy phytonutrient intake.

How does soy so dramatically decrease cancer risk, and improve survival? Soy may actually help turn back on BRCA genes. BRCA is a so-called caretaker gene, an oncosuppressor—meaning a cancer-suppressing gene responsible for DNA repair. Mutations in this gene can cause a rare form of hereditary breast cancer, popularized by Angelina Jolie’s public decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy.

But, only about 5% of breast cancers run in families. So, 95% of breast cancer victims have fully functional BRCA genes. So, if their DNA-repair mechanisms are intact, how did breast cancer form, grow, and spread? Well, tumors do it by suppressing the expression of the gene, through a process called methylation. The gene’s fine, but cancer found a way to turn it off, or at least turn it down—potentially facilitating the metastatic spread of the tumor.

And, that’s where soy may come in. Maybe the reason soy intake is associated with increased survival and decreased cancer recurrence is because the phytonutrients in soy turn back on your BRCA protection—removing the methyl straightjacket the tumor tried to place on it.

So, researchers put it to the test. These are three different types of human breast cancer, specially stained so that the expression of BRCA genes turns up brown. So, this is what full DNA repair would look like—hopefully, what normal breast cells would look like. Lots of brown, lots of BRCA expression. But, instead, we have column two, raging breast cancer.

Well, if you add soy phytonutrients back to the cancer, BRCA does indeed get turned back on. The DNA repair appears to start ramping back up—though this was at a pretty hefty dose, equivalent to about a cup of soybeans.

Their results suggest that treatment with soy phytonutrients “might reverse DNA hypermethylation, and restore the expression” of the tumor-suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. May help with other breast cancer genes, as well. “Women at increased [genetic] risk of breast cancer may especially benefit from high [soy] intake.”

Doctor’s Notes

Legumes leading to a longer life? See Increased Lifespan from Beans.

No matter what genes we inherit, changes in diet can affect DNA expression at a genetic level. For example, see:

I’ve previously covered the available science in Breast Cancer Survival & Soy. Other effects are detailed in:

It may be possible to overdo beans, though (see How Much Soy Is Too Much?).

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Top 10 Most Popular Videos of 2013 and Can Eating Soy Prevent Breast Cancer?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

Delicious & Healthy Lentil Tomato Soup For A Cancer Diet

This soup will be wonderful only if you will use ripe tomatoes that taste great, as they make the difference between good soup and an amazing one! Always use organic ingredients when possible.

Try this Rye Bread Recipe to make a complete and delicious meal.

What you need:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 
3 small potatoes, peeled and sliced 
3 large ripe tomatoes, cut to cubes
Handful of chopped coriander 
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup red lentils
Filtered water to cover
2 spoons avocado oil

What to do:

  1. Use a wide pot to saute the onion in the avocado oil until golden.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and add water to cover.
  3. Bring to boil and then continue cooking on a low heat until the potatoes are soft (about 30 minutes).
  4. When ready, you may use a hand blender to mix the soup; it’s great to only mix half so you still have some chunks of veggies in each plate.

Enjoy!

To get more of these great recipes visit Neeva’s website  The Innergy

Visit: www.NeverMeatAgain.com

Delicious & Sugar Free Protein Brownies – Recipe For A Cancer Diet

Breast cancer patients can exhibit an increased demand of protein. Tumors utilize glucose as their main source of energy supply. Thus, a diet supplying the cancer patient with sufficient protein while restricting the sugars tumors thrive on, is a helpful strategy in improving a breast cancer patients healthy recovery.

This protein rich recipe includes hemp protein powder which is not marijuana. The two plants are distant relatives, having similar physical appearances and structures but little more.  Marijuana flowers contain a chemical called THC which, when heated and ingested, causes intoxication.  Marijuana has been used for this reason as a medicine for thousands of years.

Hemp, on the other hand, contains 0.00% THC, so has no narcotic effect on people.  Hemp has never been used as a medicine; it has strictly been used primarily as a fiber plant and secondarily as a food crop.  Hemp can only be grown with a government issued permit and requires mandatory lab testing to ensure that all hemp grown contains 0.00% THC.

With this in mind we wish to share this protein rich recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Small Ripe Bananas
  • 3 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • 
3 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 2 Packets Truvia or Stevia
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Scoops Chocolate Hemp Protein Powder
  • 
1/2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Peel Bananas
  2. Add bananas to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth
  3. Mix in: baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and Stevia.
  4. Mix in flax-seed
  5. Stir Chia Seeds
  6. The batter should look like poppy-seed muffin mix
  7. Add 2 scoops of chocolate hemp protein powder.
  8. To give the brownies an extra chocolate boost, stir in unsweetened cocoa powder.
  9. Pre-heat Oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Grease a baking pan (8 x 8).
  11. Spread out brownie batter evenly across the baking pan. (about 1/2 inch thick)
  12. The batter cooks how it is (does not rise) put onto the baking sheet, no rising or flattening.
  13. Bake 10-12 minutes.
  14. Cut into eight brownies.

85 Calories, 2.5 g fat, 133 mg potassium, 10.5 g Carbs, 4 g Fiber, 3 g Sugar, 6 g Protein.

A healthy diet is only one of several factors that can affect the immune system; exercise and stress management are just as important in improving your overall health and well-being.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange: Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Delicious Tempura Mushrooms – Vegan and Crispy

Another delicious way to enjoy mushrooms – and so much healthier than any tempura you buy!

What you need:

  • 10-15 fresh button mushrooms, cut to halves
  • 7 spoons rice flour (placed in a bowl or plate)
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (placed in a bowl)
  • Avocado oil to stir-fry
  • Always use organic ingredients when possible

What to do:

  1. Heat the oil in a wide pan until it’s very hot.
  2. Dip the mushrooms in the soy sauce and then coat them with the rice flour.
  3. Stir-fry the mushrooms in the oil from both sides until they are soft from the inside and crispy from the outside.

You may eat the mushrooms by itself or add them to a salad. It’s best to eat them hot.

Enjoy!

To get more of these great recipes visit Neeva’s website  The Innergy

Visit: www.NeverMeatAgain.com

Yummy Veggies & Cream (Gluten Free & Vegan) Great for a Cancer Diet

yummy-veggies-cream-gluten-free-vegan-great-for-a-cancer-dietThis mui-delich (very tasty!) dish can work as a pasta dressing or as a dish by itself! It’s vegan, super-yummy and you will not stay hungry! It’s also beautiful but I bet you will not look at it long before you finish it all!

What you need:

  • 20 button mushrooms, cut to half
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut to cubes
  • 4 cherries tomatoes, cut to half
  • Handful chopped chives
  • Pink Himalayan salt to taste
  • Use organic ingredients when possible

For the cream:

  • 2 Handful raw cashews
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 2 cups alkaline water

What to do:

  1. Add the cream ingredients to a strong blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the cream and the rest of the ingredients to a wide pan and saute for 15 minutes.
  3. When ready, use it as a dressing for pasta or eat it as is!

Enjoy!

To get more of these great recipes visit Neeva’s website  The Innergy

Visit: www.NeverMeatAgain.com

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