Promoting Breast Health- Notes from a Naturopathic Medical Office
In Naturopathic Medicine there are a number of lifestyle changes, foods, and supplements that are routinely recommended to promote breast health. Below is a listing of them with an explanation as to their benefits.
Walking: Women who walked briskly 3 hours/week prior to their cancer diagnosis were more likely to survive the disease.
Vitamin D: Reduces cell division of abnormal cells and boosts healthy immune function. Studies found that women with low Vitamin D levels have denser breasts on mammogram. Accurate readings are difficult in women with dense breasts.
Indol-3 carbinol (I3C) and Di-indolmethane (DIM): Protects against hormone induced cancers, such as estrogen-enhanced tumors. In nature these substances are found in the cruciferous vegetable family. They are rich sources of sulphur containing compounds known as sulforophanes. Numerous studies have examined the ability of sulforaphane to interfere with cancer cell division in lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers. A new study out of Oregon State University, found that sulforaphane targeted abnormal cells and stop their growth.
The cruciferous vegetables comprise an amazing vegetable bounty and include: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, mustard greens, turnip, rutabaga, Bok Choy, and Chinese cabbage also known as Napa cabbage. Additional members include: Radish and broccoli sprouts, arugula, broccoli rabe, broccolini, horseradish, wasabi, radish, and daikon radish.
Calcium-D-Glucarate: Supports detoxification of chemicals through the liver. This de-stresses the liver and allows for proper hormone breakdown.
Melatonin: Is produced by the pineal gland at night. It is a super antioxidant to cell membranes, and an immune booster.
Lignans: Found in flax seeds and flax oil. A French study of 58,000 postmenopausal women over 7 years found that an intake of dietary lignans was clearly associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Lignans reduced the risks of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor positive postmenopausal breast cancer.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Studies published from Italy, Spain and Greece in the 1990’s show that olive oil consumption protects against breast cancer. The benefits are due to a few compounds found within the oil:
Oleic acid- Monounsaturated fatty acid that has been linked to lowering inflammation.
Polyphenols – Which are antioxidant
Vitamin E – Hormone balancing, and antioxidant.
Note from Dr. P
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin said that. When it comes to cancer, the best thing to do is prevent it. Incorporating some or all of these foods and nutrients into your daily routine just makes sense. One of the reasons I decided to write a cookbook is because people are literally starved for good information on nutrition. There are lots of cookbooks but not many written by doctors. As a natural medical doctor I am uniquely positioned to assist my patients with recommendations on medical nutrition. Promoting health through food is the key. “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates