It's true! I Much like our intestinal or gut microbiome (the microbial community in the intestinal tract), the breasts have their own microbiome. That's pretty cool, right? The breast microbiome contributes to healthy breast tissue. Research shows that lactobacillus acidophilus can reach the mammary gland so basically, your gut microbiome affects your breast microbiome. Our diet has the biggest impact on our gut and breast microbiome. Our microbiome is affected for better or worse within 24 hrs of eating healthy or fast and processed food. Alcohol, antibiotic use, environmental toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals also disrupt the gut microbiome, which affects estrogen metabolism, important for estrogen based breast cancers. If you have to drink alcohol, drink Cabernet Franc. Eating fermented foods, diverse foods, foods with calcium-d-glucarate (oranges, carrots, apples, grapefruit, cruciferous vegetables), and plant lignans such as flaxseed, sunflower, caraway, and pumpkin seeds, legumes, and soybeans and taking probiotics, can help maintain a healthy gut and breast microbiome with protective effects against breast cancer.
Fall is pomegranate season! Here's why you should be eating (and drinking) more of these beautiful red "gems." Researchers at the City of Hope found that pomegranates contain six compounds that may prevent breast cancer growth by blocking aromatase, an enzyme known to play a key role in most breast cancers. Aromatase converts androgens to estrogens, and most breast cancers depend on estrogen to grow. “By suppressing the production of estrogen, urolithin B and other phytochemicals found in pomegranates can prevent hormone-responsive breast cancer tumors from growing,” said researcher, Shiuan Chen, Ph.D. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant compounds that may benefit health. The other phytochemicals in pomegranates found to inhibit aromatase activity are urolithin A (UA), methylated UA, acetylated UB, methylated UB and UB sulfate. Previous research has shown that pomegranate juice is rich in active antioxidants and its compounds may slow growth of human breast and prostate cancer cells.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a natural plant chemical found in cruciferous vegetables of the Brassica genus, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, radishes, and cabbage, is a promising anti-breast cancer compound. Indole-3-carbinol influences a range of cellular processes, including lowering toxic estrogen. I3C has been shown to regulate the expression of numerous genes. Combinations of I3C and the anti-estrogen drug tamoxifen work together to inhibit the growth of the estrogen-dependent breast cancer more effectively than either agent alone.
To boost intake of I3C, eat more cruciferous vegetables of the Brassica genus, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, radishes, and cabbage or take as a supplement; 300 mg per day for breast cancer prevention.
The human microbiome is composed of trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi) living inside and outside the human body.
The risk of breast cancer and recurrence could be associated with the composition and function of the breast/gut microbiome.
Research shows that there are different bacteria in the breast tissue of healthy women vs those with breast cancer and that the breast microbiome in women with cancer is different from that of women with benign disease, indicating that certain bacteria may be associated with breast cancer development and different responses to treatment. Diet, drugs, toxins, lack of sleep, inactivity, and stress can negatively change the human gut microbiome which can alter blood estrogen levels, estrogen metabolism, chronic inflammation, the local breast immune microenvironment and its influence on breast cancer recurrence and metastasis. http://ow.ly/2WwJ50BftoE http://ow.ly/OPbN50BftoC
You can increase your good gut bacteria and improve your gut and breast microbiome with:
A plant-based diet
No refined sugar, processed and fast foods
High Fiber - 20-30 grams/day
Sleep - 7-9 hrs/night
BPA is a chemical that acts like estrogen in the body. Estrogens have been linked to the increased risk of developing breast cancer. BPA is found in many plastic products, food and formula can linings, dental sealants, and on the shiny side of paper cashier receipts (to stabilize the ink). Recently, researchers at Duke University Hospital were among the first to discover that BPA helps the survival of inflammatory breast cancer cells. http://ow.ly/k1j150B48sg. France has banned BPA in food packaging and California lists BPA as being toxic to the female reproductive tract.
Changing to BPA free plastic may not be better. BPA free chemicals BPF, BPS, bisphenol F, bisphenol AP, bisphenol AF, bisphenol Z, bisphenol B are not safe alternatives to BPA. Learn how to Limit your exposure to BPA at http://static.ewg.org/pdf/ewg_bpa_guide.pdf.
Seaweed may be a powerful weapon against breast cancer. Research shows that eating a sheet of seaweed a day may cut women's breast cancer odds in half. Nori seaweed snacks may favorably alter estrogen metabolism by modulating women’s gut flora, resulting in decreased breast cancer risk. Apparently, the more seaweed you eat, the less estrogen you have in your system. Which seaweed is most protective against breast cancer? Find out at http://ow.ly/h4Ak50B36sN.
Let's talk about the magic of mushrooms for breast cancer prevention!
A number of research studies have discovered compounds in mushrooms that were found to inhibit cancerous tumor growth, increase immune cells (particularly in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment), and inhibit aromatase, an enzyme in breast cancer cells that will produce unwanted estrogen. The most common mushrooms studied are white button, turkey tail, Shitake and Maitake. Turkey tail mushrooms contain compounds called polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK). PSP and PSK appear to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The compounds in turkey tail may also offer benefits for gut health. It is not recommended you eat turkey tail in the wild. Turkey tail extract is also available in the form of a powder or tea. Always follow the dosage instructions carefully. Because turkey tail is a fungus, anyone with a mushroom or mold allergy should not use it. More common and accessible, research has shown that eating just 5 white button mushrooms a day may be sufficient to suppress breast cancer tumor growth. Learn more about the research at: http://ow.ly/cCTB50AX5Ix and https://nutritionfacts.org/video/breast-cancer-vs-mushrooms/.
Drinking alcohol in any form raises breast cancer risk. This may be a hard pill to swallow but I have to give it to you straight when it comes to staying in breast cancer remission. Alcohol is a recognized carcinogen. It can cause cellular damage that can trigger cancer development. Alcohol influences blood levels of estrogen and other hormones in ways that may make cancer more likely. Higher intake of alcohol increases circulating estrogen levels. The overall estimated association is an approximate 30-50% increase in breast cancer risk from 15-30 grams/day of alcohol consumption (about 1-2 drinks/day) and and by 46% for ≥45 g/day of alcohol use (approximately more than 4 drinks per day). Even in women who drink ≤12.5 g/day (≤1 drink/day) there is a 5% increase in risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers. Yes, research shows that drinking alcohol can be beneficial for your heart but if you eat a whole food, plant based diet free of animal foods you will reap the cardiovascular benefits from that. Bottom line - alcohol is toxic! Learn more about the research at -http://ow.ly/mXGZ50ARWxE.