Regularly taking soybeans and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli or cabbage, may help reduce hot flashes and fatigue associated with breast cancer treatment, according to a recent study.
Soybeans could have more benefits than they are attributed, and that, together with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale or cabbage, could help to minimize the characteristic symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and fatigue, which usually occur during treatment for breast cancer, and which can lengthen months or even years afterward, reducing patients’ quality of life.
This has been the main conclusion of a study by a leading U. S. cancer center published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. The study studied 365 breast cancer survivors, of Chinese and non-Hispanic origin, who had been diagnosed with this type of tumor between 2006 and 2012.
Some of the treatments to kill breast cancer inhibit the production of estrogen, a hormone that the National Cancer Institute (NIH) qualifies as a human carcinogen. However, this hormone also has very important functions in the female body, such as creating breast tissue and a key role in the development of the menstrual cycle, and its absence causes the characteristic symptoms of menopause.
The study’s lead author, and her colleagues, explain that soy isoflavones have the ability to adhere to estrogen receptors, causing a weak estrogenic effect. On the other hand, glucosinolates from cruciferous vegetables intervene in the amount of metabolizing enzymes that are able to treat inflammation and estrogen levels in the body. Both bioactive components are those that reduce the symptoms of breast cancer treatment, these researchers have discovered, but warn that more studies are needed to confirm their findings.