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ROLE OF PHYTOESTROGEN IN TREATMENT OF CANCER: A REVIEW

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Author(s): Ashish Kumar Sharma

Journal: International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development
ISSN 0974-9446

Volume: 2;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Cancer | Flavonoids | Phytoestrogens

ABSTRACT
Phytoestrogens are a group of naturally occurring estrogen-like diphenolic compounds present in legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These dietary flavonoids have drawn much attention because there are possibilities that they might benefit human health. There are more than 300 foods have been shown to contain phytoestrogens. High consumption of phytoestrogen-rich food has been linked to a reduced incidence of cancers at different sites including breast, prostate, lung and colon. In spite of initial optimism, it is not clear whether eating foods rich in phytoestrogens decreases breast cancer risk. In the United States phytoestrogens appears to lower lung cancer risk in both smokers and non-smokers. Most food phytoestrogens are from one of three chemical classes, the isoflavonoids, the lignans or the coumestans. It is currently unclear whether phytoestrogens from soy foods affect breast cancer risk. Traditional Japanese and Chinese diets are rich in foods containing phytoestrogenic compounds, whereas the Western diet is a poor source of these phytochemicals. This is an active area of research with much work needed to resolve this issue. This review presents the most current information and indicates where more research would be helpful.
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