Soy and Cabbage Against Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatments

Soy and Cabbage Against Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatments

A small study shows that women who consume the most soy and cruciferous have fewer hot flashes or night sweats related to breast cancer treatment.

It was already known that eating soy-based foods ( soy milk, tofu, etc.) as well as cruciferous (cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli …) helped to reduce the risk of breast cancer. But it also reduces the side effects of breast cancer treatment, such as hot flushes and night sweats, according to a study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

What the study says

” People who have been treated for breast cancer often experience side effects that can last for months or even years after the end of treatment, ” say the researchers. For example, because many treatments designed to prevent breast cancer recurrence inhibit the body’s production or use of estrogen, people treated for breast cancer often suffer from hot flashes and night sweats.

Understanding the impact of dietary habits on these side effects would highlight modifiable factors to possibly reduce the symptoms that occur with treatment.

The study was conducted on 365 women who survived breast cancer. Those who consumed the most soy and cruciferous products – up to 431 and 865 g / day, respectively – had fewer side effects, such as hot flushes and night sweats, caused by treatments blocking production. estrogen. High intakes of soy were also associated with less fatigue.

Soy isoflavones and glucosinolates from Cruciferous are likely to be responsible for the beneficial effect of these foods on the side effects of cancer treatment, particularly because they affect estrogen and inflammation levels. Several previous studies have shown that soy isoflavones reduce the risk of breast cancer and recurrence and death. The researchers noted that the benefits were greater for white women than for Chinese women, who consume twice as much soy and cruciferous foods.

These preliminary results for a small number of participants need to be confirmed through studies of larger populations and more detailed dietary data. However, this study suggests that lifestyle factors – including diet – may have an impact on the side effects of cancer treatment.

In practice

Achieving the most effective consumptions against side effects described in the study is not easy but if your diet is already based on plants it will not be too difficult to increase the proportion of soybeans and cruciferous in your diet. To increase soy consumption, you have to learn how to cook it in all its forms. Cabbage can be consumed raw (it must be cut as finely as possible) or cooked (preferably steamed). It is a vegetable that can also be eaten lacto-fermented (sauerkraut).

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