home
RSS
June 3rd, 2011
03:51 PM ET

How much is too much phytoestrogen?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Asked by Keyana of Spokane, Washington:

I have two questions. What is considered to be a high/harmful amount of phytoestrogen in a woman's diet per day? And should a woman who has had cancer not take estrogen replacements or eat a diet high in phytoestrogens?

Expert answer:

Hi, Keyana. These are interesting questions. I'm going to assume that you are talking about breast cancer since the association of phytoestrogen consumption and breast cancer risk is the most concerning to many women.

Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that act like the hormone estrogen. There are two basic types of phytoestrogens: isoflavones and lignans.

Soy products are the most common source of isoflavones, and the controversy surrounding cancer and phytoestrogens are related to soy products. To provide you with the best possible response to your question, I turned to noted cancer nutrition expert Rachel Beller, who addresses this question on a regular basis at the Beller Nutritional Institute in Los Angeles.

Beller explained that while phytoestrogens are similar to human estrogens, their effect on human estrogen levels has not been well-researched because plant estrogens are 1,000 times weaker than the estrogen produced in our bodies.

Many studies suggest that soy isoflavones' estrogen-like effects are probably too weak to have any significant consequence on breast tissue in healthy women - that includes breast cancer survivors.

Regarding the association with breast cancer, Beller points to a 2011 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that found soy to be safe and favorable, even for breast cancer survivors, when eaten in its natural, unprocessed state - for example, tofu, tempeh, edamame, miso soup.

In fact, experts agree that fermented soy (miso, tempeh) is good for you. The fermentation process alters the chemical makeup of soy, which reduces the level of isoflavones by as much as 300%.

Therefore fermented soy foods have three times less of the chemical in question.

While this study does not conclusively establish the safety of soy, phytoestrogens aside, soy is not only an excellent source of heart healthy plant-based protein, which is encouraged in the latest dietary guidelines for Americans, it also contains dozens of nutrients that also appear to help fight cancer development.

These nutrients can protect cells from becoming damaged, encourage faulty cells to die instead of reproducing, regulate cell growth and even improve cell communication. These are all things that help strengthen your body against cancer and heart disease.

A study has also shown that consumption of soy early in life may help protect against breast cancer later in life, even if it may be more questionable for post-menopausal women.

What's also noteworthy is that Asians have been eating soy foods in large amounts for centuries, and their traditional soy-rich diets are associated with lower risks of breast and prostate cancer than Western diets.

Beller goes on to say that the "bad rap" that soy's been getting is due to the fact that when we hear something's "good for you," we process it to the max, extract the good stuff and concentrate it, which basically makes it lose its original identity.

Skip the processed soy foods and supplements, especially if you have a history of breast cancer.

The bottom line: If you have no history of breast cancer, there is no known high or harmful amount of phytoestrogens, and foods such as unprocessed soy are an important part of a healthy diet.

If you have a history of breast cancer, as with nutrition in general, you should not focus on a single food or nutrient. The key is moderation.

The phytoestrogens consumed by eating moderate amounts of relatively whole and unrefined forms of soy foods (two to three times a week) can be considered part of a healthy, complete diet.

Regarding estrogen replacement therapy, according to the National Cancer Institute, "Studies of hormone use to treat menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors have produced conflicting results," so I suggest speaking with your physician to determine the best approach for you.

Follow Dr. Jampolis on Twitter


soundoff (367 Responses)
  1. photo restoration orange county ca

    Very good post. I am facing some of these issues as well..

    https://virusscan.jotti.org/cookies-ok?redirect=https://ocrv.org/motorhome-mechanic-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. horse trailer service

    http://mambasana.ru/redir/?ocrvmotorsports.com/safeco-rv-collision-repair-paint-shop-near-me-orange-county

    May 12, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. fiberglass repair shop near me

    https://www.pocketpc.ch/redirect-to/?redirect=https://youtube.com/watch?v=srqVas53kPs

    May 12, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Plumbing Near Me

    http://www.panamusic.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.g.page/ocrvcenter

    May 13, 2021 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. progressive photo inspection near me

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after looking at a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

    &mid=872

    May 13, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. JebgEncox

    anti fungal https://pharmacylo.com/ canadian mail order pharmacy

    May 13, 2021 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Batteries Riverside

    Can I just say what a comfort to discover someone who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people should look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you're not more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

    http://kohlssweepstakes.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=

    May 13, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Dent Repair California

    http://www.masterfurriers.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim-2

    May 13, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. rv window leak repair

    http://apps.vienna.at/feat/microsite/webcams/welcome.asp?url=ocrvcenter.biz/rv-upgrades-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Maintenance Near Me

    http://www.foodhotelthailand.com/food/2020/en/counterbanner.asp?b=178&u=http3A2F2Fyelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim

    May 13, 2021 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. FmrfEncox

    how can i cialis without custom delayed in canada http://cialisee.com/ buy cialis online

    May 13, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. awnings orange county

    Excellent post. I will be going through many of these issues as well..

    https://mysteryscience.com/click/press-article?url=https://youtube.com/watch?v=JFmdy94Hj3E

    May 13, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair Shop

    https://keyweb.vn/redirect.php?url=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/ram-high-top-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 03:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. frame repair shop near me

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

    http://oldtmt.vedomosti.ru/rss/toolbars/closeAd.php?backUrl=https://ocrvmotorcoaches.com/rv-repair-shop-chino-hills-california

    May 14, 2021 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair

    http://my.migrationpolicy.org/salsa/track.jsp?url=https://commercialvanrepairshop.com/mercedes-cargo-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. real estate for sale rathdrum id

    http://ab-search.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=107&url=meganleary.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. house for sale around me

    http://www.ibar.cc/link.php?url=https://www.meganleary.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Maserati Mexico

    http://www.cs.odu.edu/~mln/teaching/cs751-s11/?method=display&redirect=http://www.club-maserati.com

    May 14, 2021 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RebfZisse

    cialis bleck https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis with out perscription black cialis

    May 14, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Maserati Monica

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!

    https://info-az.net/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=675&url=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RebfZisse

    cialis online https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis for daily use new cialis commercial 2010

    May 14, 2021 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Optometrists Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!

    https://www.c2financialcorp.com/home/click.php?id=55&link=http://arizonasvision.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Maserati Q4

    I love it whenever people get together and share views. Great site, keep it up!

    http://rs.rikkyo.ac.jp/rs/error/ApplicationError.aspx?TopURL=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. truck modification shop near me

    https://joomluck.com/go/?https://ocrv.info/

    May 15, 2021 at 02:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. homes for sale fernan lake

    http://www.zerocarts.com/demo/index.php?url=https://meganleary.com

    May 15, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Optometrist

    http://www.islulu.com/link.php?url=https://www.arizonasvision.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Vision

    http://www.eromoe.com/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=198&url=http://www.arizonasvision.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Optometrists Near Me

    Excellent post. I am facing many of these issues as well..

    http://codersclub.org/uchome/link.php?url=https://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. camera repair orange county ca

    http://www.etracker.com/lnkcnt.php?et=qPKGYV&url=http://www.ocrvcenter.biz

    May 15, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. AnooEncox

    can i take viagra with enalapril http://llviagra.com/ indigestion after taking viagra

    May 15, 2021 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Maui Jim Prescription Sunglasses

    https://i.w55c.net/ping_match.gif?rurl=https://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Best Eye Doctor Near Me

    https://click.dsp.com/c?type=2&db=mediav&pub=120013_527433_1050746&cus=172_663_12717020_63096188_63096188000&url=https://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Optometrist Near

    https://www.webstolica.ru/go.php?link=https://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Maserati Va Beach

    http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wrti/.jukebox?action=viewPodcast&podcastId=7003&url=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. house for sale post falls idaho

    http://cssdrive.com/?URL=www.meganleary.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. riverside collision repair provo

    Excellent article! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    http://www.jump.fan-site.biz/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=342&url=http://www.ocrv.info/

    May 15, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Video Marketing Agency

    https://forum.everleap.com/proxy.php?link=http://ppcpostfalls.com

    May 15, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. LebnEncox

    Viagra Super Active https://xlnpharmacy.com/ express scripts pharmacy

    May 15, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Digital Marketing Consultant Near Me

    http://cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/index.php?thememode=full;redirect=juicycalls.com

    May 15, 2021 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Local Marketing Agencies

    https://genicomprinters.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 15, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Content Marketing Firm

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be useful to read content from other authors and practice something from other sites.

    https://bannerinformation.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 15, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. aika online private server

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this blog.

    http://p-hero.com/hsee/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=88&url=aikareborn.com/categories/muspelheim.51/

    May 16, 2021 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. AnooEncox

    can i take viagra at age 22 http://llviagra.com/ pedir viagra por internet

    May 16, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Internet Marketing Jobs

    http://www.infinity-0.7ba.info/out.php?url=https://affordableranking.com/

    May 16, 2021 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Social Media Marketing Contractor

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

    http://qualpath.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 16, 2021 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. brimonidine

    combigan eye drops generic combigan side effects

    May 16, 2021 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Aika Online Download

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    https://legacy.aom.org/verifymember.asp?nextpage=http://aikareborn.com

    May 16, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Maserati Dealer Ma

    That is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

    http://rindge.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=maseratiforum.net

    May 16, 2021 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Leave a Reply to Escort young ladies in Padmanabhanagar


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.