Search Term: " Omega-9 "
Argan Oil Benefits
May 28, 2019 11:07 AM
Moroccans have been using argan oil for centuries because it has a good, nufty flavor but also many health benefits. This has made the oil, derived from the fruit of the argan tree, very popular worldwide although it is native to Morocco. It is widely known and used for culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal purposes. The author suggests some 12 uses of argan oil in the blog. One of the uses is that it contains essential nutrients which are usually fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acid. These fatty acids are good sources for the health and also it contains a rich source of vitamin E. Another usefulness of argan oil is that is has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of its compounds that make this possible are vitamin E, CoQ10, melatonin, and plant sterols. The author states that more research is needed though to fully understand how argan oil is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Another good reason to use argan oil is that it boosts heart health. This is due to the omega-9 fatty acid, oleic acid, it contains. Other reasons to use argan oil are found in the blog.
"Although native to Morocco, argan oil is now used across the globe for a variety of culinary, cosmetic and medicinal applications."
Read more: https://www.ecowatch.com/argan-oil-2634443123.html
Why Is Acai, Goji, Pomegranate, Noni And Mangosteen Called Super Fruits?
January 15, 2013 04:55 PM
Health Benefits Of Super Fruits
"Super fruits" is an idiom that is frequently used to refer fruits that have extraordinary antioxidant and nutrient qualities and provides benefits over and above the basic nutrition. Exotic fruits such as acai berries, goji berries, mangosteen, noni and pomegranate have earned this distinguished status. These fruits have exceptional amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals that play a significant role in preventing various diseases.
Each of these super fruits restrains its own distinctive set of properties that prove to be extremely beneficial for the overall health of the body.
Health Benefits Associated With Super Fruits:
Acai berry is a rich source of dietary fiber, protein and a compound called anthocyanins. It also includes high levels of omega-6 as well as Omega-9 fatty acids, which are believed to have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system and heart. In addition, the anthocyanins compound present in the acai berry helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level.
This fruit is abundantly grown in south Asian and due to its fine flavor it is also referred to as "The Queen of Fruits". Mangosteen retains high levels of phytochemicals known as xanthones that offer this fruit a unique medicinal property which is not found in other common fruits. Mangosteen also includes other powerful natural compounds such as polysaccharides, catechins, quinones, polyphenols and stilbenes. Each of these compounds are believed to be effectual in preventing diseases such as, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, kidney stones, glaucoma, cataract, Alzheimer's, neuralgia etc. The fruit is also used to treat aging, depression, obesity, allergies, skin diseases, ulcers, fevers, diarrhea and pain.
Noni juice is known to restrain more than 150 nutrients, including protein, all the essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E, minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium and potassium, polysaccharides, phytonutrients and digestive enzymes. Noni is one of the most unique super fruits. Noni juice can help to normalize blood sugar levels; decrease inflammation, arthritis and joint pain; enhance digestive function, cleanse colon, remove parasites; reduce irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation and menstrual cramps; prevents gastric ulcers; relives pain, mental depression and atherosclerosis.
Goji Berry Juice:
This miraculous berry is rich in polysaccharides. It also includes fiber, 18 amino acids, 21 minerals, Vitamins A, C, B, & E, protein and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Goji juice is a potent antioxidant that prevents premature aging. It also stabilizes molecules called free radicals that damage the DNA and gives rise to several diseases. Moreover, Goji juice helps in reducing the risk of cancer by averting DNA mutation, curtailing growth of tumors and by managing the peroxidation of lipids. This distinctive fruit helps to relieve insomnia and headache, improve functions of the heart, assist in digestion, aid to regulate weight, promote sexual health, improve fertility, enhance memory functions, and alleviate dry cough.
Pomegranate is one of the oldest known super fruits. It is rich in vitamins A, B and C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and sodium. Pomegranates are very high in dietary fiber which boosts the digestive system. Additionally, medical evidences reveal that a unique amalgamation of polyphenols found in pomegranate helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood which eventually benefits the heart. Moreover, pomegranate's natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties aid to slow down the development of cancer especially, prostate and lung cancer.
Overall, super fruits are extremely valuable for our body due to its high anti-oxidant and nutrient content that helps to reinforce the body's natural defenses and make it healthier and less prone to most type of diseases.
Health benefits of Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids
March 08, 2012 06:50 AM
What AreThe Benefits Of Omega-3-6-9?
In order to maintain the normal function of the body, it is important that our diet consists of the right amounts of various fatty acids. These are organic compounds made up of carbon chains of various lengths, with one end having an acid group and a hydrogen on the end all attached to the carbons in the chain. Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids are vital ingredients that play important roles in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are referred to as essential fatty acids because they cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained from foods such as nuts, fish or plant oils such as canola and sunflower. These essential fatty acids exists in three types, alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid each with an important role to play in the body.
The alpha-linolenic acid help to reduce the high risks of stroke and heart disease by lowering cholesterol level and slowing down the production of harmful triglyceride in the liver while at the same time raising the level of high-density lipoproteins, HDL or good cholesterol in the body. They also prevent the accumulation of harmful fat in the arteries and promote the elastic nature of the blood vessels.
Both eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids promote the development of the eye and brain, reduces risks of cardiovascular diseases, and may aid in preventing Alzheimer's disease. A study based on eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids conducted on a ten year period on individuals who had high risk of death from heart disease revealed a 40% decrease in cardiovascular disease and a dramatic reduction in mortality rate.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from chicken, eggs, dairy products and various plant oils such as corn oil, rice bran oil among others. In association with its derivative, the alpha-linoleic acid they aid in production of prostaglandin which plays a vital role in promoting the normal function of the brain, nerve and immune system.
They also help in reducing incidences of coronary artery disease by lowering the level of cholesterol in the arteries. By consuming the right amounts of essential fatty acids, a balance is achieved and both essential oils work synergistically to promote the overall health of the body by preventing various inflammatory disorders.
Omega-9 fatty acids are a class of unsaturated fats commonly found in animals fats and vegetables and are also called monosaturated fats or oleic acids. They are usually produced by the body unlike the essential fatty acids but can also be obtained from various plant oils such as sunflower, olive, canola as well as other mono-saturated fats. Research studies have revealed that the mono-saturated fatty acids may help in reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
This is because, they have been found to play an important role in increasing the level of high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol and decreasing the level of high-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol in the body. They also prevent the unwanted plaque deposits in the arteries and this reduces the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Despite the fact that Omega-3-6-9 individually play different roles in the body, it is clear that striking a balance of the essential fatty acids plus non-essential fatty acids is important for promoting the overall health of the body.
Various Health Benefits of Acai Berry-The Wonder Fruit
February 12, 2012 07:32 PM
Acai berry is a highly nutritious fruit that grows in Amazon valley situated in the rain forests of the Northern Brazil. Being very small in size, it grows on palm trees that are known as Euterpe Oleracea. Acai berry is rich in fatty acids, amino acids, fibers, anti-oxidants, minerals and various vitamins. The fruit itself is very delicious tastes like chocolate candy.
As acai berry is so rich in antioxidants, it provides sufficient nutrition for fighting off all the harmful effects of free radicals, decreases high cholesterol levels, lowers high blood pressure and helps in reliving the joint pain. Aside from being a great source of energy, it helps body in fighting off infections by strengthening the immune system. Today acai berry is regarded as a top super food.
Acai berry also contains large amounts of trace minerals, and phytonutrients. Its ORAC score (a measure of antioxidant levels) is much higher than any other vegetable or fruits tested on gram for gram basis. Its high fiber and protein content helps in boosting the body's immune system.
Various Health Benefits of Acai berry
1. Weight Loss-Acai berry helps in increasing the body metabolism rate within few days thereby helping you in shedding those extra pounds.
2. Regular intake of Acai berry fruit helps all those who suffer due to lack of sleep. Its amazing nutrients help in inducing sleep in the people.
3. Acai berry helps in removing harmful toxins from the body. 4. It minimizes the inflammation of stomach and liver to a great extent and assists in oxidation.
5. It helps all those who are suffering from depression and strengthens the cardiovascular system. It also regulates the nervous system in the body leading to better functioning by various body organs.
6. It provides relief to all those who are suffering from acute arthritis pain.
7. Speeds up recovery process in case of injuries.
8. Controls diabetes and stabilizes blood sugar level.
9. Sharpens eyesight and improves the functioning of digestive system.
10. Antiviral properties- Acai berry is rich in Anthocyanins (compounds found in red wine) which have good antiviral properties and boost your immune system which help you in fighting off diseases and illnesses.
11. Antiallergenic properties- Due to the presence of Antocyanins, the Acai berry has excellent antiallergenic properties.
12. Good fiber content- Fiber contents helps in cleansing your body by flushing out toxins. It also make you feel full with less food. Acai berries have 4 grams of fiber for every 100 grams of serving.
13. Lowers bad cholesterol-Acai berries are rich in Omega-9 and Omega-6 fatty acids that lowers LDL cholesterol which hardens arteries leading to heart disease.
Best Colon Cleansing Agent
Acai berry is a good colon-cleansing agent and also helps in detoxifying the body in a natural way. It acts swiftly on the midriff region, and enhances the weight loss in your tummy area.
You can get Acai berry in various forms such as pills, snack bars, powder and fruit juices. Many world class companies offer their Acai berry products to world wide customers. You can even get freeze dried Acai berries as they have the highest concentration of nutrients in them.
Flax Seed Oil
August 07, 2008 01:53 PM
Flax seed naturally contains a variety of different categories of essential fatty acids, which includes alpha linoleic acid, linoleic acid, and Omega-9 oleic acid. A lot of flax seed’s benefits are a function of its content of alpha linoleic acid, which is converted in the body to a longer chain of omega-3 EPA. Research has proven that supplementation with flax seed oil can help to increase the EPA concentrations in many tissues of the body. One of the main areas of research has been inflammation.
Many factors contribute to inflammatory reactions, including omega-6 linoleic acid, which can be converted into pro-inflammatory substances. Flax alpha linoleic acid can convert into EPA, which has the ability to convert into a prostaglandin that has anti-inflammatory properties. In inflammatory states, alpha linoleic acid and EPA compete with linoleic acid for enzymatic metabolism, resulting in a decreased production of pro-inflammatory substances. Many studies have found that the use of flax seed oil in domestic food preparation can reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines.
These studies have also shown the ability of omega-3 rich fish oils to inhibit inflammatory mechanisms in the autoimmune disease lupus nephritis, which lead to the investigation into flax having any abilities in this area. One trial found that 30g/d of flax seed was optimal for improving kidney function, decreasing inflammation, and reducing atherosclerotic development. Flax also contains antioxidants, which may be helpful to those who have SLE.
Research has also been conducted to investigate the hormonal modulating effects of ingesting lignans, which are antioxidant and phyto-estrogenic compounds that are found in flax seed. Clinical evidence indicates that phytoestrogens have an anti-cancer effect on the breast. Experimental studies in animals and humans have also demonstrated flax’s anti-cancer effects, with a 1998 review indicating that the consumption of flax may be used as a secondary prevention method against breast cancer. Flax seed has also been shown to promote prostate health, as it plays a key role in the treatment of an enlarged prostate.
The cardiovascular system is also another area of research focus for flax seed. One study showed that three months of flax seed supplementation resulted in LDL cholesterol levels dropping significantly, while HDL cholesterol did not change. Other research has shown serum lipid level reduction, but a large amount of flax seed was required to be consumed to get the same lipid-lowering effects as fish oils. Flax lignans also possess anti-platelet activating factor activity and antioxidant activity. Animal research has shown that flax seed reduced the development of aortic atherosclerosis’ by 46 percent and suppressed oxygen-free radicals.
The research concluded that dietary flax seed supplementation could prevent hypercholesterolemia-related heart attack and strokes. Lastly, the elasticity of arteries is an important factor of circulatory function, which decreases as the cardiovascular risk increases. Research has proven that obese people consuming a diet high in ALA from flax seed oil experience a marked rise in arterial elasticity, which reflects a rapid improvement in the arterial circulation.
Although flax seed offers many potential benefits, ingesting the right form of supplemental flax is crucial to gaining these benefits. Flax oil supplements are a good source of EFAs, but they do not provide great amounts of lignans. On the other hand, whole or ground flax seed is effective, but is not especially palatable. The best option of flax seed is the liquid in capsule form, as it delivers both EFAs and lignans. The nutritional value and certain beneficial results can be gained by consuming about 3,000 mg daily.
Neptune Krill Oil - EPA and DHA Rich!
July 02, 2007 12:43 PM
Complete List of Now Vitamins Starting at 40% OFF.The oil of Atlantic Krill, a zooplankton crustacean, contains one of the most unique nutrient profiles ever discovered. In addition to rich concentrations of EPA and DHA, krill also boasts an impressive amount of phospholipids, all-trans retinol vitamin A, natural vitamin E, and Omega-9 fatty acids. The oil is an excellent source of esterified astaxanthin—a powerful, immune supporting carotenoid that has been clinically proven to quench singlet oxygen radicals within cell membranes. The potent arrangement of naturally occurring compounds exhibits strong synergist properties that support and protect many of the body’s most vital system.*
At the most basic level, krill oil contains compounds that the body needs in order to construct healthy cell membranes. By nature, omega-3 essential fatty acids can be particularly sensitive to oxidation. Atlantic krill, however, contain antioxidants and Carotenoids that bind to these fatty acids, thus improving the biological stability. Accordingly, studies have shown that as much as 95% - 95% of the EPA and DHA in krill oil is capable of being absorbed for use throughout the body.
Among its most impressive qualities, Neptune Krill Oil contains phospholipids that are rich in EPA and DHA, and structurally similar to those produced by the human brain. The most significant include phosphatidyl Choline, phosphatidyl Inositol, and phosphatidyl ethanolamine. Researchers believe that their unique structure and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier make it possible for those compounds to support brain and cognitive health.* Now Vitamins Neptune Krill Oil is manufactured under the strict quality control, and tested to be free of potentially harmful levels of mercury and other heavy metals, PCB’s, dioxins and other contaminants.
100% Pure Neptune Krill Oil
May 23, 2006 12:18 PM
Acai, one of the latest, hot new health food discoveries from the Amazon rainforest boasts some impressive credentials as a source of omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E and more than 50 other antioxidants, especially anthocyanin—the powerhouse pigment found in red wine and blueberries.
Proponents of acai, which is actually the purplish fruit of Euterpe oleracea, a short palm found in abundance in Brazil, claim this superfood promotes healthy cholesterol, supports the immune system and protects the heart. With the publication of a new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they might be able to add “fights cancer” to that list as well.
The study, conducted at the University of Florida, tested the effect of pure acai juice-stripped of any lipids (EFAs) and cellulose material on HL-60 human leukemia cells in vitro. Researchers also evaluated five other extracts or “fractions” of the fruit, which contained different mixtures of antioxidants, for their effect on leukemia cells. They found that the extracts "reduce cell proliferation from 56% to 86%, most likely by damaging the cells enough to cause them to self-destruct."
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 54(4):1222-1229, 2006
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:38 PM
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are found in both plant and animal sources, although primarily in plants. The EFA family is composed of two main forms, Omega-3 and Omega-6. The following explains exactly what these forms are.
OMEGA-3: The most common forms of Omega-3 are eicosapentaenioic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid, which comes from plants and helps create EPA and DHA. Omega-3 is usually derived from fish oils. Dr. Roger Illingworth, associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at Oregon Health Sciences University, explains that Omega-3 fatty acids are “long-chained metabolic products from linolenic acid. . . When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega-3.” EPA and DHA are liquid and remain that way, even at room temperature. It is said that they protect fish by providing a body fat that stays fluid even in cold temperatures. OMEGA-6: The most common form of Omega-6 is is gammalinolenic acid (GLA). GLA is known to provide the following benefits, among many others:
Omega-6 is usually found in plant sources. The oils of coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefish, herring, tuna, mackerel and similar fish are known as Omega-3 fatty acids. The freshpressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts contain Omega-6 fatty acids. The most popular sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 include:
BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL: This oil is rich in linoleic acid (44%) and provides almost twice as much gamma-linolenic acid as evening primrose oil. Black currant seed oil also is an excellent source of an Omega-3 precursor known as stearidonic acid. BORAGE OIL: This oil comes from Borago officinalis, a plant with blue flowers. It is widely recommended in Europe to strengthen the adrenal glands, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and relieve inflammation. Besides possibly helping with heart and joint function, it may also assist the growth of nails and hair. Borage oil is also an excellent source of GLA. In The Complete Medicinal Herbal, herbalist Penelope Ody asserts that it is “helpful in some cases of menstrual irregularity, for irritable bowel syndrome, or as emergency first aid for hangovers.” SALMON OIL: This oil is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These types of EFAs are known to thin the blood, prevent clotting, regulate cholesterol production and strengthen cell walls, making them less susceptible to viral and bacterial invasion. Salmon oil has a natural ability to help the body relieve inflammation. In the ground-breaking book The Omega-3 Breakthrough: The Revolutionary, Medically Proven Fish Oil Diet, professor Roger Illingworth writes that Linolenic acid is a fatty acid with 18 carbons and 3 double bonds.
It is manufactured exclusively by plants. When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega- 3. Plankton, a minute form of marine life, is part plant and part animal. Its plant component manufactures linolenic acid. Fish eat the plankton, and the linolenic acid breaks down in their bodies in two types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . . . The liquidity of EPA and DHA serves a vital function in fish, who require body fat that remains fluid even in very cold water. Fish oils, besides containing Omega-3 fatty acids, have shown to benefit those suffering from migraine headaches, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.
FLAX: Flax is a plant said to date back as far as 5000 B.C. It has been used since approximately 5000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is exported from several countries, including Argentina, Canada, India, Russia and the United States. The flowers are usually blue, although they are sometimes white or pink. The mucilaginous seed is, of course, called flaxseed. The oil primarily provides Omega-3/linolenic acid, and provides an average of 57 percent Omega-3, 16 percent Omega-6, and 18 percent of the non-essential Omega-9. Flaxseed oil is said to contain rich amounts of beta carotene (about 4,300 IU per tablespoon) and vitamin E (about 15 IU per tablespoon). In the October 1995 issue of Let’s Live, the history and uses of flax were highlighted by herbalist Carla Cassata. She writes, . . . It’s no wonder the Cherokee Indians highly valued the flax plant. They mixed flaxseed oil with either goat or moose milk, honey and cooked pumpkin to nourish pregnant and nursing mothers, providing them with the needed nutrients for creating strong and healthy children. It was also given to people who had skin diseases, arthritis, malnutrition as well as men wishing to increase virility. They believed flax captured energies from the sun that could then be released and used in the body’s metabolic process.
This belief has merit. Flaxseed oil, rich in electrons, strongly attracts photons from sunlight. To be effective, EFAs must be combined with protein at the same meal. This flaxseed oil/protein/ sunlight combination releases energy and enhances the body’s electrical system. Also, this combination, along with vitamin E, can be beneficial for infertile couples and women suffering from premenstrual syndrome . . . Flaxseed oil, having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, can benefit the 40 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To achieve optimum results, however, substances that activate the sympathetic nervous system—like refined sugar, soda, coffee, fluoride— must be eliminated. Stress must also be reduced, because it too, activates the sympathetic nervous system, promoting inflammation.
EVENING PRIMROSE: This flower is indigenous to North America, although the oil is particularly popular throughout Europe for therapeutic purposes. It is also known as night wil - low and evening star. It is an excellent source of both linolenic and linoleic acids. Both of these nutrients must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot synthesize them. The seeds contain gamma linolenic acid. This polyunsaturated EFA helps with the production of energy and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes. Evening primrose oil has also benefited those with multiple sclerosis, PMS, hyperactivity and obesity. It is estimated that it takes about 5,000 seeds to produce the oil for one 500 mg capsule.
PERILLA OIL - Vegetarian Essential Fatty Acid Source
June 17, 2005 09:39 AM
Vegetarian Essential Fatty Acid Source!
3 softgels contain:
Perilla Oil 3 g
Suggested Use: 3 softgels twice daily with food, or as recommended by your health care professional.
June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999
What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.
But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.
A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.
In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.
But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).
New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).
Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.
Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.
The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).
Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.
But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.
Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.
Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.
A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.
The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.
Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 :757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.
Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).
Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.
The Vegetable Cart
Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.
Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).
Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.
n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.
n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.
The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.
Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).
Fat Can be Phat
Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.
Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.
Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by Omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.
Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)
Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).
Selecting Organic Food
Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.
Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.
Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.
Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements