(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer found evidence supporting that mushrooms have breast cancer-fighting properties.
This study was conducted at the University of Western Australia in Perth. The study included 2,018 Chinese women. Half of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer. After adjusting for lifestyle patterns such as education, smoking, overeating, and exercise levels, the researchers discovered that the women who ate at least 10 grams of button mushrooms per day were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. Dried mushrooms also significantly reduced the risk, but not as much as fresh mushrooms.
A substance found in mushrooms called linoleic acid may be the key to the reduced risk of breast cancer. Linoleic acid inhibits aromatase activity. Aromatase is an enzyme that helps the body produce estrogen. High estrogen levels are a well-known risk for breast cancer. As many breast cancers depend on estrogen to grow, the aromatase-inhibiting actions of mushrooms may be responsible for the reduced risk.
Aromatase inhibitors are used as treatment to prevent certain types of breast cancers from recurring. Examples of these drugs are Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin.
This study also revealed that women who combined a mushroom diet with regular consumption of green tea saw even greater benefits: a reduced risk of almost 90 percent! This well-known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory helps prevent breast cancer by decreasing the amount of estrogen a woman's body produces. (Like cholesterol, estrogen has a good kind and a bad kind -- and an excess of the bad can promote breast cancer.)
In addition to the theory of the benefits of linoleic acid, mushrooms have been found to strengthen the body's immune system and also possibly block tumor development. In several lab studies, mushroom extract has been shown to actually stop the growth of breast cancer cells. There is an ongoing study examining whether or not taking a mushroom extract twice a month can prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. Earlier studies have suggested that the traditional medicinal mushroom, Phellinus linteus, hampers the growth of skin, lung, and prostate cancer cells.
In another study conducted by Dr. Shiuan Chen of the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope in Duarte, California, it was found that in laboratory and animal experiments, mushroom extracts reduced the proliferation of breast cancer cells. This study also surmised that it is the linoleic acid that may be responsible for the anti-cancer effects.
Dr. Chen and his team state: "Results from this and other laboratories support the hypothesis that white button mushrooms may be an important dietary constituent for reducing the incidence of hormone-dependent breast cancer in women. Prevention strategies involving mushrooms are readily available, affordable, and acceptable to the general public."
Cindie Leonard has a Master's degree in Psychology and specializes in research (namely psychoneuroimmunology), enjoys savoring time with family and friends, spoiling her pets, travel, beaches, cavorting around San Diego, volunteering at Torrey Pines State Reserve, and working on perfecting the art of "il dolce far niente." http://www.cindieleonard.com
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