A Systemic Review on Effects of Phytoestrogen on Breast Cancer

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Interest in the physiological role of bioactive compounds present in plants has increased dramatically over the last decade. Of particular interest in relation to human health are the classes of compounds known as the phytoestrogens, which include several groups of non- steroidal estrogens including isoflavones, lignans and coumestans that are widely distributed within the plant kingdom. Epidemiological studies suggest that diets rich in phytoestrogens, particularly soy and unrefined grain products, may be associated with low risk of breast cancer. Objective: - This review presents the studies published so far by exploring a link between dietary phytoestrogens and breast cancer. Methods: A Medline, PubMed and Google internet search was conducted using the keywords breast cancer, phytoestrogens, soybeans, isoflavones, estrogen, estrogen receptor, coumestrole and lignans. Further articles were obtained by cross-matching references of relevant articles. Results: From the published data we may conclude that overall information about phytoestrogen consumption and breast cancer risk is still scarce: From all prospective studies and the case control studies in Asian populations we get the impression that consumption at young ages (adolescence or earlier) and consumption of high amounts may protect both against pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer. Conclusion: There is no clear evidence that phytoestrogens intake influences the risk of developing breast cancer. Keywords: -Breast cancer, phytoestrogens, soybeans, isoflavones, and lignan



Breast cancer; Phytoestrogens; Soybeans; Isoflavones; and Lignans.