Friday, January 22, 2010

Flavinoids in The Diet

One of the latest press releases I've received is about the discovery of a compound called ellagitannins in pomegranates.

At the City of Hope Breast Cancer research center, researchers found that this compound inhibits our "aromatase" pathway.

I previously wrote about how our fat cells make estrogens. The aromatase pathway is the mechanism of estrogen production within the fat cell. Aromatase actually converts androgens to estrogen (this is one reason why men need to wear bro's or manzier's as they get chubby, they actually have high estrogen levels and some grow breasts).

The researchers are saying that a metabolite produced from the pomegranate compound has the potential to prevent estrogen-responsive breast cancers.

Pomegranate seeds make a salad very photogenic. Pomegranates can be found most of the year at the middle eastern and Indian grocery stores and often the seeds are sold out of the pom in plastic containers.

The aromatase pathway is the pathway in which fat cells convert androstenedione ( a testosterone precursor) to estrogen(E1). This occurs in males and females. How active this pathway is depends upon diet, toxin load and alcohol consumption.

We are bombarded with environmental toxins, so it's safe to assume we need to slow down the pathway and make less estrogen.

The best ways to do this is to eat lots of fiber, drink less alcohol, avoid most medications unless really necessary and buy anything at the top of the food chain organic or, at least hormone and antibiotic free. The are also minerals such as zinc and plant flavinoids that can slow this pathway down like the ellagitannin in pomegranate.

Keeping this pathway less active is most important in estrogen sensitive breast cancers.

Something to note, is that men also produce high quantities of estrogen via this pathway and they are at risk for some forms of prostate cancers because of this.

There have been numerous studies looking at specific groups of women based on local and dietary habits. Many of the studies look at intake of plant flavinols and their effect on reducing not only breast, but also ovarian cancer and heart disease (the no.1 killer of women).

the outcomes have all shown a decreased risk of these diseases with an increase intake of dietary flavinols.

The specific flavinols have been the kinds found in green tea, flax,grapefruit, celery, soy, green pepper and malabar spinach, just to name a few. There are many more that will be named based on the research I'll be citing. Most of these studies are looking at women in the peri or post menopausal age, and most of those breast cancers are estrogen dependent. This is why the aromatase pathway and it's inhibitors are so important.

I will be writing about other breast cancers as the typical breast cancer for a jewish woman is different than for an african american and again different from pre-menopausal and hispanic women.

What you need to take away from the previous notes on the aromatase pathway is this:the most common type of breast ca in the peri-menopausal and post -menopausal woman is

estrogen sensitive. This is typically associated with over production of estrogen via the aromatase pathway, therefore dietary behaviors that reduce the pathway are important to adopt for everyone.

Eat a naturally colorful diet. Dark and colorful pigments always equal flavinoids.

Raw is better in many cases, but not in all. Eating a diet of 75% raw in the summer and 50% in the winter is a good bet that you're getting what you need.

No comments:

Post a Comment