Phytoestrogens May Offset the Risks of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

Phytoestrogens May Offset the Risks of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

Soybeans, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds consumption might decrease postmenopausal breast cancer risk

Phytoestrogens are nonsteroidal chemicals found in plants.

Phytoestrogens structurally resemble the estrogens and may influence the possibility of breast cancer by mimicking estrogenic/antiestrogenic characteristics.

In Western societies, whole grains and maybe soy foods too, contain an abundance of phytoestrogens. A German population of postmenopausal women was used to evaluate the association of phytoestrogen-rich foods and dietary fiber from sunflower and pumpkin seeds with breast cancer risk.

Dietary data were collected using a validated food-frequency questionnaire, which included additional questions phytoestrogen-rich foods. Associations were assessed.

Results indicate towards a proof regarding a decreased postmenopausal breast cancer risk linked to high intake of sunflower and pumpkin seeds and soybeans.

Source: Zaineddin AK, Buck K, Vrieling A, Heinz J, Flesch-Janys D, Linseisen J, Chang-Claude J. Nutr Cancer. 2012;64(5):652-65. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2012.683227. Epub 2012 May 16.

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Breast Cancer Cells Feed on Cholesterol

Breast Cancer Cells Feed on CholesterolBy: Michael Greger, M.D., NutritionalFacts.Org.

One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. There are a number of compounds in plant foods that may protect against breast cancer by a variety of mechanisms. I’ve talked about the benefits of broccoli, flaxseeds, and soy foods before (See Breast Cancer Survival VegetableFlaxseeds & Breast Cancer Prevention, and Breast Cancer Survival and Soy) but a recent German study reported something new. The researchers found that sunflower and pumpkin seeds were associated with reduced breast cancer risk. They initially chalked the association up to the lignans in the seeds (See Breast Cancer Survival and Lignan Intake), but their lignan lead didn’t pan out. Maybe it’s the phytosterols found concentrated in seeds? (See Optimal Phytosterol Source).

There is evidence that phytosterols may be anticancer nutrients and play a role in reducing breast cancer risk. I thought phytosterols just lowered cholesterol? (See How Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol) What does cancer have to do with cholesterol?

Increasing evidence demonstrates the role that cholesterol may play in the development and progression of breast cancer. Cancer feeds on cholesterol. Transformed cells take up LDL, so-called “bad” cholesterol, and it’s capable of stimulating the growth of human breast cancer cells in a petri dish.

The ability to accumulate fat and cholesterol may enable cancer cells to take advantage of people eating high fat and high cholesterol diets and at least partially explain the benefit of a low-fat diet on lowering human breast cancer recurrence. Although the data has been mixed, the largest study to date (highlighted in my video, Cholesterol Feeds Breast Cancer Cells) found a 17% increased breast cancer risk in women who had a total cholesterol over 240 compared to women whose cholesterol was under 160. However, the researchers could not rule out that there may be something else in cholesterol-raising foods that’s increasing breast cancer risk.

Tumors suck up so much cholesterol that LDL has been considered a vehicle for delivering antitumor drugs to cancer cells. Since cancer feeds on cholesterol, maybe we could stuff some chemo into it like a Trojan horse poison pill?

The uptake of LDL into tumors may be why people’s cholesterol levels drop low after they get cancer—the tumor is eating it up. In fact, patient survival may be lowest when cholesterol uptake is highest. “High LDL receptor content in breast cancer tissue seems to indicate a poor prognosis, [suggesting] that breast tumors rich in LDL receptors may grow rapidly [in the body].” We’ve known about this for decades. You can tell that was an old study because, when it was published in the ‘80s, only 1 in 11 American women got breast cancer.

If cholesterol increases breast cancer risk, what about the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs? See Statin Cholesterol Drugs and Invasive Breast Cancer.

More videos on broccoli and soy’s protective effects against breast cancer:

Some I didn’t mention include:

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, 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 States.

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Pumpkin: Superfood Fall Planter

Pumpkin Superfood Planter Ideas For Breast Cancer GardenBy: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

Lets take advantage of the key nutrients in pumpkin and make a beautiful fall planter at the same time. Pumpkin packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. The key nutrient that boosts pumpkin to the top of the superfoods list is the synergistic combination of carotenoid. We have included instructions for a pumpkin planter and how to make pumpkin seeds.

How To Make A Pumpkin Planter


  • Flowers that will hold up to the fall temperatures in your area (if you are unsure ask a local nursery)
  • Pumpkin large enough for the flowers
  • Knife for carving
  • Soil for planters

Cut a hole around the stem of the pumpkin large enough for the flowers to easily be put inside.  Clean out the pumpkin, and save the seeds, cause they’re yummy.  Next, I used wooden skewers to punch a few holes into the bottom of the pumpkin.  You could also cut a small hole into the bottom with a knife.  Put a little soil into the bottom of the pumpkin and then carefully put the flowers in.  Water and make sure it is draining well.  All done!

Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Toast or roast pumpkin seeds in your oven in no time at all. They can can be salted or spiced to suit your palate. The shells are an edible cancer fighting superfood.

Simple Pumpkin Seed Recipe


  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Organic cooking spray or olive oil
  • Optional Himalayan pink salt, garlic, onion powder or other seasonings of choice


  1. Rinse pumpkin seeds. Use your fingers to remove all the pulp. Drain pumpkin seeds and discard pulp. Spread out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.
  3. Toss pumpkin seeds in olive oil, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, or your choice of seasonings. Toss to coat.
  4. Bake about 1 hour, tossing every 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Cool pumpkin seeds before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months or refrigerate up to 1 year.
  6. If you like your toasted pumpkin seeds extra-salty, soak overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt to 2 cups of water. Dry an additional day, then proceed as above.

Images for recipe are from Breast Cancer Authority Blog’s “Simple Pumpkin Seed Recipe“.

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 if you have questions.

Simple Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Pumpkin Seed Recipe For Breast Cancer Prevention

By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff

Pumpkin Seeds
itamin E, the ultimate cancer buster, which inhibits cancer cell growth and protects immune cells from free radicals is found in pumpkin. Vitamin E boosts your immune system´s fighting abilities.

Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds belong to the same family as cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, and squash. Long valued as a great source of zinc pumpkin seeds are becoming increasingly recognized for their diversity of antioxidants, which makes them unique in their antioxidant support, such as providing a wide variety of forms of vitamin E.

Simple Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Breast Cancer Recipe for Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Cut open the pumpkin by cutting a circle around the stem end with a sharp knife (knife blade angled in), and pulling off the top. Use a strong metal spoon to scrape the insides of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the mass of pumpkin seeds in a colander and run under water to rinse and separate the seeds from everything else.Pumpkin Seed Recipe For Breast Cancer
  2. Measure the pumpkin seeds in a cup measure. Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier. Bring the salted water and pumpkin seeds to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.Pumpkin Seeds For Breast Cancer Recipe
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan or thick baking sheet with olive oil, about a tablespoon. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan in a single layer, and toss them a bit to coat them with the oil on the pan. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Small pumpkin seeds may toast in around 5 minutes or so, large pumpkin seeds may take up to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds so they don’t get over toasted. When lightly browned, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack. Let the pumpkin seeds cool all the way down before eating.

Recipe is courtesy of Simply Recipes.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana 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 if you have questions.

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