Best Breast Cancer Diet Based on Your Genes

Best Breast Cancer Diet Based on Your Genes

The Best Diet for Breast Cancer Based on Your Genes

When we think of genes and breast cancer, the first thing that comes to mind is the much-publicized -BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation.  This gene mutation became well known when Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie discovered that she was at high risk for breast cancer when she tested positive for the BRCA1 gene.

She later decided to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, thereby reducing her risk for breast cancer.  By making this extraordinarily personal and challenging decision public, she made women aware of genetics and breast cancer.

Current studies show that only 12% of women in the general population will develop breast cancer.  But for those that have the BRCA gene, this increases to 69% to 72% by age 80.  So it is no wonder that some women who test positive choose to have a double mastectomy.

Can You Lower Your Risk for Breast Cancer Even with the BRCA Gene?

Most gene mutations are not that affected by diet, lifestyle, or the environment.  Or, we thought anyway.

Increased consumption of vegetables and fruit lowers the risk for breast cancer even for those with the BRCA gene.  Consumption of foods high in folate, vitamin B12, and soy products also reduced risk.

On the other hand, women who consumed a high energy diet (high calorie), drank excessive coffee, and alcohol had increased risk even if they didn’t have the BRCA gene.

Could There Be Other Genes or Gene Variances that Increases Risk for Breast Cancer?

One in 500 hundred women will test positive for the BRCA gene.  Yet, 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer throughout her lifetime.

Researchers have found that there are many different slight gene variances that can increase the risk of breast cancer.   Unlike gene mutations, they are very responsive to diet, lifestyle habits, and our environment.

Nutrigenomics is the science of identifying these gene variances known as single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs.  And how you create healthy gene response with nutrition, thereby reducing your risk for breast cancer.

What Gene Variants or SNPs can Increase Your Risk For Breast Cancer?

A combination of the gene variances or SNPs known as CYP1B1, COMT, GSTP1, and MnSod increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women shown in a recent study.

Most SNPs or variances have little impact on their own.  But when combined with other SNPs, it can increase your risk for breast cancer.  Want to learn more about nutrigenomic testing, check out my Genomic Solutions.

By testing for these genomic variances or SNPs, you can make sure to eat the right foods or, as I like to say, nourish your genes!  And reduce your risk for breast cancer.

You can learn more nutrigenomics and breast cancer at ACES Genomics and our program, Breast Cancer Answer.


Nutrigenomics Food Can Affect Your Gene Response

Nourish Your Genes, Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer

These gene variances or SNPs that can increase your risk for breast cancer when combined are all involved in how your body clears out estrogen.  Or how your body detoxes estrogen from your body.

To safely eliminate hormones, your genes need a little help from vitamins, minerals, and bioactives! 

Vitamins and minerals act like little helpers or co-factors that upregulate and modulate your genes, safely detoxing your hormones—thereby reducing your risk for breast cancer. 

For instance, vitamin B6 plays a critical role in the formation of the queen of antioxidants known as glutathione and supports the SNP – GSTP1.

Bioactives also play a key role in the formation of the glutathione as they trigger your genes to produce this powerful anti-oxidant.  Glutathione has been shown to play a major role in the prevention of cancer making bioactives a key player in the fight against cancer.



What are Bioactives and How Can They Reduce Your Risk for Breast cancer?

Bioactives are unique chemical compounds found in food that trigger healthy gene response.  The classification of bioactives is flavonoids, carotenoids, organosulfur, and polyphenols.  There are other group classifications, but these are the big players in the bioactive world.

Some of the carotenoids we are very familiar with are lycopene found in tomatoes and lutein found in green leafy vegetables. 

Another example of a powerful bioactive is curcumins found in the spice, turmeric.  Curcumins have been founds to a powerful antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory. 

The best source of curcumins can be found in the turmeric root itself and can easily be roasted like any other roasted root vegetables.  Caution should be used when taking turmeric as a supplement as too much turmeric can lead to iron deficiency.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Onions, Garlic,  and Cruciferous Vegetables – All High in Bioactives

Onions and garlic are in the same family called the allium vegetables.  They are high in allyl sulfur and have chemoprotective effects as well as kick-off healthy gene response reducing your risk for breast cancer. 

This is because they contain key compounds that help our body to produce glutathione, the queen of anti-oxidants.  They also trigger the master gene known as NrF2 – powerful anti-carcinogenic gene!

Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a compound that promotes healthy detoxification of estrogen.  And, supports those gene variants known as CYP1B1 and GSTP1!  You can find your favorite cruciferous vegetables just about anywhere – cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Matcha Green Tea Anti-Cancer

Green Tea Supports COMT – Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer

The COMT gene can increase your risk for breast cancer when combined with the other gene variants.  In most cases, a reduced COMT alone will not significantly increase your risk for breast cancer.  But in combination with other SNPs, this gene variant may increase your risk considerably.

Green tea supports the COMT gene because it is high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate – whew!  Or, commonly referred to as EGCG.  Studies have shown that EGCG can actually reduce your risk for breast cancer especially is you have what is referred to as a reduced COMT.  The COMT gene is one of the few gene variances that can be slowed down or speed up depending on the gene variant.

If you are not fond of green tea, which I am not, you may enjoy this recipe for Matcha Green Tea Energy Balls.  Matcha has 3-4 times the amount of EGCG as green tea.  Super easy recipe – try these energy balls instead of that cup of coffee.

What is the Best Diet to Reduce Risk for Breast Cancer

The Mediterranean Diet is one of the best diets for reducing your risk of breast cancer.  This diet offers a rich diversity of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and clean sources of animal/fish protein.  With such diversity, you can easily get in those bioactives.

The color of the vegetables and fruit identifies the bioactives or the polyphenols in the plants.  For instance, white-green vegetables are high in allyl sulfides, which help to support that GSTP1 gene. 

White-green vegetables would be leeks, garlic, onions, and chives.  Red-purple plants like grapes, blackberries, red wine, raspberries, and blueberries are rich in anthocyanins and other polyphenols.

The more color and variety in your diet, the more you can reduce your risk for breast cancer.

The Mediterranean diet offers:

  • A vast diversity of plant-based foods
  • Rich in bioactive triggering healthy gene response
  • Provides a large variety of high fiber foods
  • Plant-based sources of protein – legumes, nuts, seeds
  • Clean sources of animal/fish protein

It is the balance of good wholesome food that nourishes your genes and reduces your risk.  Get my favorite Mediterranean Diet Food Guide.


DNA Genomics

What about Nutrigenomic Testing and Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer?

If you had breast cancer and want to be confident that you are doing everything you can to prevent a recurrence, then nutrigenomics would be worth the investment.  Or, if your doctor has told you that you are high risk.

According to Phillip S. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, in the United States, breast cancer rates will increase by 50% by 2020, and 80% will have no family history.  Could these other genes be coming into play here?

At ACES Genomics, we offer nutrigenomics testing, consulting, and our program goes over how to interpret your results, and you can easily bring anti-cancer nutrition into your lifestyle.  Our program is Breast Cancer Answer that we will be launching in February, 2021.  Join our private FaceBook group Breast Cancer Answer to learn more.

If you ready to leap into the world of nutrigenomics, I would recommend Nutrition Genome.  The report is very comprehensive; however, it does not bring together breast cancer genomics.  But can easily do that with my Nutrition Genome Consult.  If you want to learn more about nutrigenomics, join my private FaceBook group, Nutrition Solutions Through Genomics.

  • BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk & Genetics Testing
  • How Common is Breast Cancer?
  • Combined effect of CYP1B1, COMT, GSTP1, and MnSOD genotypes and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, Cerne, et al Journal of Gynecologic Oncology, 2011
  • Molecular Targets for Bioactive Food Components, J. A. Milner, Nutritional Sciences Research Group, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 2004
  • Nutrigenomics and Breast Cancer; State-of-Art, Future Perspectives and Insights for Prevention, Sellami, et al Nutrients 2020
  • Cancer Chemoprevention by Dietary Polyphenols: Promising Role for Epigenetics, Link, et al, Biochem Pharmacol, 2010
  • Additive and synergistic effect of phytochemicals in prevention of oral cancer, Chandra, et al, European Jounral of General Destistry Vol 1, Issue 3, 2012
Top 3 Things You Can Do To Prevent Breast Cancer

Top 3 Things You Can Do To Prevent Breast Cancer

We are all told the basics of eating a diet rich in vegetables, high in fiber, limiting fat, and even eating soy which remains controversial (another blog in of itself).  And, of course, limit alcohol and maintain a healthy weight.

Yet, despite these recommendations we will see breast cancer rates increase by 50% by 2030 and 80% will have no family history according to Phillip S. Rosenberg, PhD, Cancer epidemiology & genetics Biostatistics Branch of the NCI!

So, what can YOU do to prevent breast cancer?

I will cut to the chase for those who have short attention spans – nutrigenomics testing, ditch the chemicals, and the Mediterranean diet.  All three involve and promote a healthy hormonal balance, the metabolism, and the detoxification of estrogen.

  • Nutrigenomics testing will identify your TRUE risk for breast or how you can truly prevent a recurrence by promoting positive gene response and healthy detoxification.
  • Ditching the chemicals that promote hormonal imbalances is also key as we now know that are many chemicals that women are more often exposed to that can promote unhealthy estrogen levels.
  • Why the Mediterranean Diet – this diet which is predominantly plant-based with healthy sources of animal protein is also full of healthy fats, fiber and recommends a huge variety and color in vegetables.

Nutrigenomics Food Can Affect Your Gene Response

What is the Role of Nutrigenomics and Breast Cancer

Most of the nutrigenomics SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphisms) or slight genomic variants involved in breast cancer are involved in the two-phase process of the liver detoxification system.

For instance, the SNP known as CYP1B1 is involved in the process of breaking down estradiol into certain compounds; a variant in this SNP will promote estradiol into 4-OH over the preferred compound known as 2-OH.  The compounds are known as 4-OH and 16-OH (see Estrogen Metabolism Nutrients) are implicated in breast cancer.

What if you knew you had this SNP?

What could you do?  By increasing your diet in crucifers (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries, and yes, flaxseed you can promote healthy gene response.  And, you would know that you would need to avoid chemicals polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found highest industrial seed oils and GMO grains and PCB’s.

What About Maintaining a Healthy Weight?

It is important to maintain a healthy weight not just for cancer, but overall health.  But, when it comes to cancer, being overweight especially with abdominal obesity (carry weight in your tummy), you greatly increase your risk of cancer.  This is because we know that insulin resistance is a key player in the role of cancer.  If you are carrying most of your weight in your tummy, that is a sure sign you have insulin resistance.

Abdominal obesity leads to hormone imbalances as this type of fat actually produces estrogen, especially in postmenopausal women.    This is where nutrigenomics comes in again – using nutrigenomics testing you can find out why you are struggling with your weight by looking at those genes that promote metabolic syndrome.  You can finally give up the guessing game as to what diet plan will work for you.

Natural Skincare Cosmetics

Ditch the Chemicals to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Ditching the chemicals that promote hormonal imbalances.  The typical women put on over 15 different products before she walks out the door.  Many of these cosmetics, personal care, and skincare products contain known hormone disruptors and have been implicated in breast and uterine cancers.  That is one of the reasons I partnered with BeautyCounter – safer, cleaner, and better beauty products.  And, they continue to fight to protect women from harmful chemicals.

And, there are plastics that contain BPA – a known carcinogen yet we still drink water out of plastic bottles, use personal care products that are in containers with BPA, and heat foods in plastic. These chemicals are also known as “obesogens” promoting an unhealthy weight that also leads to estrogen imbalances.

Start avoiding these chemicals by looking for the top offenders – parabens and phthalates which are used often as preservatives so will be at the end of the ingredient list.  Phthalates can be hidden using the term “parfum” or “fragrance”.  Many environmental chemicals like glyphosate or Round Up, PCB’s and PAH’s are so pervasive in our environment, it has become more and more important to support healthy detoxification through nutrition and avoidance of chemicals where we can.

Mediterrean Diet Breast Cancer

How Does the Mediterranean Diet Help to Prevent Breast Cancer

This diet is predominantly plant-based emphasizing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.  It is also not what I call a “reductionist” diet – where you have greatly reduced or eliminated a food group like gluten or fat.

Research shows that most if not all “reductionist” diet plan fail to provide adequate nutrition or even meet the minimum required recommended daily allowance (RDA).

The Mediterranean Diet is also rich healthy grains (yes, gluten grains like Kamut), seeds, nuts, and healthy fats from olive oil and cold-water fish.  What is best about this diet or cuisine is that it also incorporates spices, herbs, and greens we normally do not eat.

And, it is certainly not low fat.  Many sites recommend a low-fat diet without making the distinction between healthy fats and bad fats.  Again, a reductionist diet!  This was based on very poorly done studies and to me is one of the worse recommendations for hormone balance.  I know first hand what happens to a woman’s body on a low-fat diet – hormonal imbalance especially estrogen dominance which is highly implicated in breast cancer.

As we learn more and more about nutrigenomics and it's a role we can start to truly prevent breast cancer rather than waiting for our mammogram to detect if we have cancer when it many times it too late.  As find out more and more about genes and genomics we will beat the battle of cancer – what we are currently doing is simply not sustainable or really winning the battle.

Want to learn more about nutrigenomics?  Book your free genomic Consult Today!