The article below was written by Dr. Michael T. Murray, a leading authority on natural medicine, author of several books including “What the Drug Companies Won’t Tell You And Your Doctor Doesn’t Know,” and a regular guest speaker at Native Sun. This article appears in the August 2010 issue of Better Nutrition Magazine which you can pick up free at any of our registers.
The key strategy in the primary prevention of any disease is to reduce risk factors linked to the disease while simultaneously utilizing those dietary and lifestyle factors associated with breast cancer prevention. Here is a brief overview of the risk factors for breast cancer, followed by the top supplements for prevention.
DENSITY: Breast cancers nearly always develop in dense tissue, not in fatty tissue. That’s why cancer is more likely to occur in women with “dense” breasts than in those with “fatty” ones.
ENVIRONMENTAL: Among factors that have been linked to breast cancer are exposure to xenoestrogens (synthetic compounds that mimic estrogen), second-hand smoke, pesticides, electric blankets, radiation, and lack of sunlight.
EXERCISE: Taking into account other established risk factors, women who regularly exercise have up to a 60 percent reduction in breast cancer risk compared to less-active women.
ALCOHOL: Women who drink one drink a day have a 10 percent greater risk; those who drink two drinks have a 20 percent increased risk, and so on.
SMOKING: Like most other cancers, cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
DIETARY: Important dietary factors include weight (the more overweight you are, the greater the risk); increased intake of saturated fat; and decreased intakes of antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and dietary phytoestrogens (found in legumes, nuts, seeds, and other foods).
DIET: WHAT’S BAD, WHAT’S GOOD
What else can you do? One of the beneficial foods to fight breast cancer is Flaxseed. It contains special fiber compounds known as lignans that can bind to estrogen receptors and interfere with the cancer-promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue. Fish oil supplements with 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA daily could be argued as the most important supplement for breast cancer prevention; however, a recent study on vitamin D produced incredible results—1,100 IU of vitamin D a day reduced the incidence of breast cancer by an incredible 60 percent.
“With estrogen dominance being so common, consider a product like Natural Factors EstroSense. It supports the liver in detoxifying toxic forms of estrogen, supports breast and bone health, and reduces PMS and heavy periods. It’s great for weight loss, too,” says Hyla Cass, MD, author of 9 Weeks to Vibrant Health.
EstroSense is available at both Native Sun locations.