ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Natural supplements that prevent breast cancer

Updated on November 14, 2011

Introduction

The American Cancer Society lists breast cancer as the number two cancer killer of women in the United States, second only to lung cancer. Although survival rates have been improving slowly, over 39,000 women succumbed to the disease in 2011. We don't yet understand the cause of breast cancer, although some risk factors have been identified, including having a family history of the disease, being Caucasian or over 55, or carrying one of several genes that are linked to breast cancer. Given this background, what can you do to help prevent the disease or improve your outcome if you already have it? Science tells us that several natural approaches have real promise in stopping breast cancer in its tracks; decide for yourself if one or more of these is a good choice for you.

Astragalus

Astragalus is an herbal plant with a root that contains many antioxidants. It has been recommended by practitioners of traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years. Astragalus is also known as huang qi in Chinese and is native to most parts of Asia. Used as a tonic to ward off disease, antioxidants in astragalus root also stimulates your immune system to produce more natural killer cells and increases production of cytokines, natural cancer-preventing chemicals made by certain immune cells. In addition, many research studies carried out in the laboratory show that astragalus can kill cancer cells by stopping them from dividing. Health food stores sell astragalus as a powdered root that can be brewed as a tea, or it is available in capsules as a supplement that is generally considered safe and without major side effects.

Folic Acid

All of the B vitamins are important for your health, but one of them, folate, may be especially critical in helping prevent breast cancer. When synthesized to produce supplements, folate takes a slightly different chemical form, called folic acid. Folate is very important during pregnancy and in children and adolscents, but it also has many benefits for adults. Science tells us that high folic acid intake is associated with a lowered rate of breast cancer in women. For example, a clinical study published in Cancer Research in 2001 examined the incidence of breast cancer in a large population of women and found that those who had high levels of folate in their bodies had a significantly lower breast cancer risk that the rest of the group, suggesting that the vitamin might prevent the disease. Although exactly how folic acid does this is still under investigation, scientists hypothesize that it stimulates production of immune cells that recognize and destroy malignant cells before they can multiply to form a tumor. Folic acid is a common ingredient in multi-vitamins and is also available as a separate supplement.

Cruciferous Vegetables and DIM

Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower, called cruciferous vegetables contain a natural compound, indole-3-carbinol, or I3C. I3C, along with its metabolite diindolylmethane, or DIM, have potential as chemoprotective agents against several types of cancer. Both chemicals blocks division of cultured breast cancer cells laboratory studies. A number of clinical studies have also incorporated either I3C or DIM in tests of their potential to prevent cancer. For example, in one clinical trial, post-menopausal women with a history of prior breast cancer consumed either DIM supplements or a placebo for 30 days. Those who took DIM had changes in estrogen metabolism that suggested their risk of a cancer recurrence was lessense. Other trials with I3C supplements produced similar results. You can increase your input of I3C and your body's production of its metabolite, DIM, by eating lots of cruciferous vegetables. Alternatively, summplements containing one or both compounds are available from health food stores and generally considered safe and free of side effects.

The Bottom Line

These are just a few of the many herbal or natural remedies that may lower your risk for developing breast cancer. Discuss them with your doctor first to decide what is right for your own situation, and be sure to combine them with breast self-exams and regular checkups to keep yourself healthy and cancer-free.

Mammograms are an important tool in diagnosing breast cancer.
Mammograms are an important tool in diagnosing breast cancer. | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)