Apigenin may help protect against synthetic hormone replacement risk
A flavonoid found in celery, apples and other plant foods could help decrease the likelihood of developing breast cancer experienced by women using progestins: synthetic hormones which have been associated with increased breast cancer risk.
Salman M. Hyder and his associates at the University of Missouri describe their findings in an article published online on April 19, 2011 in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. In a previous experiment, Dr Hyder and colleagues found that apigenin inhibited progestin-dependent synthesis of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, which facilitates cancer growth via new blood vessel formation) in human breast cancer cells. The current research evaluated the effect of apigenin in a rat model of progestin-accelerated mammary cancer in which tumors were induced by the carcinogen DMBA. Three weeks following injection with DMBA, female rats received apigenin or a control substance daily for one week, followed by implantation with the progestin medroxyprogesterone acetate or a placebo. The animals were monitored for the development of tumors for 60 days.
The researchers observed a delay in the development of tumors as well as a reduction in their incidence and multiplicity among animals that received apigenin compared with those who did not receive the compound, although apigenin did not block precancerous changes in mammary tissue. Apigenin prevented progestin-dependent increases in vascular endothelial growth factor as well as one of its receptors. Dr Hyder believes the finding could benefit women who currently use progestins in combination with estrogen as hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms.
“Six to 10 million women in the United States receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT),” noted Dr Hyder, who is the Zalk Endowed Professor in Tumor Angiogenesis and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. “We know that certain synthetic hormones used in HRT accelerate breast tumor development. In our study, we exposed the rats to one of the chemicals used in the most common HRTs received in the United States – a progestin called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) – which also happens to be the same synthetic hormone that accelerates breast tumor development.”
“We don’t have specific dosage for humans yet,” he added. “However, it appears that keeping a minimal level of apigenin in the bloodstream is important to delay the onset of breast cancer that progresses in response to progestins such as MPA. It’s probably a good idea to eat a little parsley and some fruit every day to ensure the minimal amount. However, you can also find this compound in pill supplements in the health food section of many stores. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.”
The following supplementation regimen is suggested. As always, consult your physician before beginning any nutritional supplementation regimen.
Cruciferous vegetable extract, 1-2 capsules per day.
Curcumin, four 900 mg capsules, 3 times daily on an empty stomach for a total of 10.8 g per day. Note the caution earlier in this protocol.
Lightly caffeinated green tea extract, three 725 mg capsules, two times a day with meals. Use decaffeinated green tea extract if you are sensitive to caffeine or want to use a less-stimulating version with the evening dosage.
CLA or CLA with guarana, 3000 to 4000 mg daily of CLA and about 300 mg of guarana, early in the day.
Melatonin, 3 to 50 mg at bedtime.
Powders (broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables that provide sulforaphane and other cancer-fighting plant extracts), 1-2 tbsp daily.
Se-methylselenocysteine, 200 to 400 mcg daily.
CoQ10, three 100 mg softgels in divided doses. Note the caution stated in this protocol.
EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans, 8 softgels daily, in divided doses. Take with nonfiber meals.
Vitamin D3, 4000 to 6000 IU taken daily with monthly blood testing to monitor for toxicity. Reduce dosage at 6 months.
Water-soluble vitamin A, 100,000 to 300,000 IU daily with monthly blood testing to monitor for toxicity. Reduce dosage at 6 months.
Vitamin E succinate (tocopheryl succinate), 1200 IU daily.
Gamma tocopherol, 1 capsule daily.
Vitamin C, 4000 to 12,000 mg throughout the day.
Gamma linolenic acid, 4 capsules of Mega GLA w/Sesame Lignans.
Whey protein concentrate-isolate, 30 to 60 grams daily in divided doses.
Calcium, magnesium, and bone-protecting nutrients. Take 5 capsules at bedtime.
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