Help to avoid soy, flaxseed for ER+?

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Question from CarolC: I have had estrogen-positive breast cancer and must avoid phytoestrogens found in soy, flaxseed and oil of evening primrose. How much of a risk is there in eating foods with soy or flaxseed in them? Almost everything "lite" contains soybean oil or soy lecithin. Everything has soy lecithin or soybean oil in it that I purchase. I take Arimidex daily.
Answers - Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. Unless you are adopting a diet that is so heavily weighted in soy products, I do not believe that you need to worry about the tiny fine print on foods that you are purchasing to eat. The phytoestrogens that are found in soy can have estrogenic effects in the body, but unless you are eating a diet that is so heavily loaded with soy products and soy milk and tofu, etc., I do not think you need to worry about the soy bean oil and lecithin found in the fine print of some of the processed foods. I do not believe that women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer should change their diet to increase the amount of soy in their diet, as the studies involving soy in the diet are very conflicting. Therefore I would not change my diet to increase the soy thinking that you're adding a benefit. But I also would not avoid products in your diet that have soy or lecithin as such minor components.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Vitamins and Herbal Supplements featured Gary Deng, M.D., Ph.D. and moderator Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions about how to safely and sensibly incorporate vitamins and supplements into your diet.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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