A couple of new studies came out this week that are relevant for those concerned about breast cancer. Which is practically everyone.
The first study gives more evidence that eating cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of a breast cancer recurrence. Up to 62%. This study was done in China, where they eat more of these goodies than we do, but the mode of action is relevant for all of us. This effect was dose dependent, which means the more women ate the greater the effect.
What are cruciferous vegetables, you ask? Broccoli (in all its forms), cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy, collard greens, and arugula. Yes, we have talked about these guys before, for their high vitamin and mineral content. So, while you are preventing breast cancer you are also building your bones and reducing your chance of getting a cold or the flu.
You can roast, steam stir-fry or just munch on these guys raw. It doesn’t matter, just get at least a serving of them every day. Two is better, and three is a home run. Snack on broccoli and cauliflower with some hummus dip, add arugula to your salad, sauté or stir-fry bok choy or kale, choose cabbage coleslaw over potato salad.
The second study is most relevant in fighting hormone positive breast cancer. And other hormone positive cancers, too. There is an ingredient in some sunscreens, oxybenzone, that appears to act like a weak estrogen in the body and can be absorbed through our skin.
This research was actually done on endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus on other organs in the abdomen. And it is stimulated by estrogen. And those with the most oxybenzone in their bodies had the highest rates of endometriosis.
So lets be clear: this study did not look at rates of breast cancer. However, estrogen is estrogen, and we know molecules can be absorbed through the skin and travel through our bodies to other tissues, including those that are made to absorb estrogen. So why take a chance?
There are many sunscreens that don’t contain oxybenzone, so this is really a better safe than sorry issue. Sunscreens labeled “sensitive skin” are most likely to be oxybenzone free. Kiss My Face, is one brand that does not have it, same with some Clinique and Neutrogena formulas. Just check the label on your favorite – especially the ones you use every day.
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We’re going to win this fight.