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.
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.
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.
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!