Breast Cancer Awareness Month - The Best Protection is Prevention
While there is much emphasis placed on early diagnosis for breast cancer, which is good, prevention efforts are also important. Prevention starts with optimizing your body's metabolism and micronutrient levels.
Every woman is biochemically unique. Many factors affect her personal nutritional needs including age, lifestyle, metabolism, prescription drug usage, toxin exposure, past and present illnesses, absorption rate, genetics and more. Research shows that micronutrients assist in repairing cellular damage to breast tissue, help prevent genetic mutations, and support healthy hormonal balance. Several nutrients are especially critical for maintaining healthy breast tissue.
Antioxidants. Low antioxidant levels are linked to higher rates of breast and other cancers. In fact, antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10, cysteine, and vitamin A have been shown to mitigate DNA damage in cancerous tissue and inhibit hormonal toxicities that can initiate cancerous cells.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D’s importance is especially well documented. A combined data set from two randomized clinical trials with 3,000 participants and a study with an additional 1,700 participants examined the association between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels and female breast cancer risk. The data showed that women with vitamin D levels of 60 ng/ml or higher had an 80% lower breast cancer risk than women with vitamin D blood levels less than 20 ng/ml.
B Vitamins. B vitamins, especially folic acid, may prevent mutations in breast tissue which eventually become carcinogenic. They may also reduce tumors on women with existing breast cancer.
Glutathione. Studies have identified over 60 diseases that have low glutathione levels as one of their characteristics, including breast cancer. It is so vital the immune system is unable to function properly without it. With respect to cancers, glutathione is crucial in the removal and detoxification of carcinogens and it contributes to programmed cancer cell death known as apoptosis.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM). Research has identified and isolated these specific compounds in cruciferous vegetables that are responsible for preventing cellular changes that lead to cancer. These compounds have been found to improve estrogen metabolism in both men and women, thus protecting against hormone-dependent cancers such as those of the breast, cervix, and prostate. Our recommended supplements for these compounds include CDG EstorDIM or EstroMetab.
Minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and metabolites interact closely with hormones. The availability of specific nutrients improves the way a woman’s body methylates (ie. metabolizes) estrogen. Improving the body’s use of estrogen reduces the risk of many hormone-related cancers, including breast cancer. Deficiencies of specific B-vitamins, especially in women with methylation issues and low glutathione levels have been shown to contribute to formation of "bad" estrogen metabolites which are known carcinogens.
Vitopia Health has a number of recommendations for achieving optimal breast health:
- Focus on a plant based, nutrient-rich diet including plenty of cruciferous vegetables.
- Verify that you are maintaining ideal blood levels of vitamin D (60 ng/ml to 80 ng/ml). Vitamin D blood levels are commonly measured by a primary care physician.
- Test all your micronutrient levels through a company such as SpectraCell. Just one nutrient deficiency may compromise your ability to fight cancer at the cellular level.
- Test estrogen metabolites through a specialty lab or a functional medicine practitioner.
- Optimize the body’s use of estrogen through targeted supplementation of the nutrients listed above.
Vitopia Health is dedicated to providing you with the most current scientific information on chronic disease prevention and treatment. If you have any questions about where to obtain recommended lab tests or supplement recommendations visit our website or contact us at email@example.com
To Your Health!
Mike Woodley, R.Ph., FAARM, ABAAHP
Chief Health Officer
References: McDonnell S, Baggerly C, French C, et al. Breast cancer risk markedly lower with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations greater than 60 vs less than 20 ng/ml (150 vs 50 nmol/L): Pooled analysis of two randomized trials and a prospective cohort. PloS One 2018 June 15;13(6): e0199265.doi: 10.1371