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Broccoli, soybeans may cut breast cancer treatment’s side effects

Raghu Kshitiz

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NEW YORK — Consuming cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbages, kale, collard greens, bokchoy, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli) and foods (such as soy milk, tofu and edamame) might assist reduction in common side effects of breast cancer treatment in breast cancer survivors, say a team of scientists led by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Higher intake of cruciferous vegetables and soy foods were associated with fewer reports of menopausal symptoms while higher soy intake was also associated with less reported fatigue.

In the study, published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, the breast cancer survivors included 173 non-Hispanic white and 192 Chinese Americans including US-born Chinese and Chinese immigrants.

Researchers say breast cancer survivors often experience side effects from cancer treatments that can persist months or years after completion of treatment because many treatments designed to prevent breast cancer recurrence inhibit the body’s production or use of estrogen, the hormone that can fuel breast cancer growth, breast cancer patients often experience hot flashes and night sweats, among other side effects.

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While further research is needed in larger study populations and with more detailed dietary data, this project addresses an important gap in research on the possible role of lifestyle factors, such as dietary habits, in relation to side effects of treatments, said Sarah Oppeneer Nomura, PhD, of Georgetown Lombardi, the lead author on the study.

“These symptoms can adversely impact survivors’ quality of life and can lead them to stopping ongoing treatments, she says adding, “Understanding the role of life style factors is important because diet can serve as a modifiable target for possibly reducing symptoms among breast cancer survivors.”

When study participants were evaluated separately by race,ethnicity, associations were significant among white breast cancer survivors; however, while a trend was seen in the benefit for Chinese women, results were not statically significant.

Researchers explain Chinese women typically report fewer menopausal symptoms. Most of them also consume cruciferous vegetables and soy foods, making it difficult to see a significant effect in this subgroup. Indeed, in this study, Chinese breast cancer survivors ate more than twice as much soy and cruciferous vegetables.

Phytochemicals, or bioactive meals elements, reminiscent of isoflavones in soy meals and glucosinolates in cruciferous greens would be the supply of the profit, the researchers stated.

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Whether the reduction in symptoms accounts for longtime use of soy and cruciferous vegetables needs further investigation, says the study’s senior author, Judy Huei-yu Wang, PhD, of Georgetown Lombardi’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

The research addresses an vital hole in analysis on the doable function of life-style elements, reminiscent of dietary habits, in relation to unintended effects of therapies, stated lead creator Sarah Oppeneer.

With Agency Inputs

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Health

Drinking 3 cups of coffee or tea daily may keep stroke risk at bay

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — There have been several conflicting studies on the health benefits of drinking coffee and tea and their various varieties. But drinking up to three cups of coffee or tea in a day is safe because it reduces irregular heartbeat and stroke risk, according to a new study published in the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

Coffee has previously been believed to worsen abnormal heart rhythms, as doctors generally discourage patients suffering from the condition. However, the results of this particular study say that a daily consumption of upto 300 mg of caffeine may be safe for arrhythmic patients.

This is because the caffeine acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and blocks the effect of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical which causes Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

A single cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. It acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and works to block the effects of adenosine — a chemical that causes AFib.

AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder, causes the heart to beat rapidly and skip beats, and if left untreated, can cause strokes.

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“There is a public perception, often based on anecdotal experience, that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems,” said lead author Peter Kistler, Director at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

But, “caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea have long-term anti-arrhythmic properties mediated by antioxidant effects and antagonism of adenosine,” he added.

A meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showed that AFib frequency decreasing by 6 per cent in regular coffee drinkers, and an analysis of 115,993 patients showed a 13 per cent reduced risk.

Another study of 103 post-heart attack patients who received an average of 353 mg of caffeine a day showed improvement in heart rate and no significant arrhythmias — or abnormal heart rhythms, that cause the heart to beat too fast, slow or unevenly.

However, in two studies, where patients drank at least 10 cups and nine cups of coffee per day, showed an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) – a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly.

On the other hand, patients with pre-existing heart conditions who consumed two or more energy drinks — that contains concentrated caffeine — per day reported palpitations within 24 hours.

With Agency Inputs

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