Can Fermented Soy Impact ER-Positive Breast Cancer?

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Blog | May, 05 2015

Can Fermented Soy Impact ER-Positive Breast Cancer?

Seventy-five percent of Breast Cancers are categorized as ER-Positive, that is, Breast Cancer cells that grow in response to estrogen. The more circulating estrogen in the body, the more cancer growth may be stimulated. 

Because of this fact, much emphasis has been placed on ways to lower estrogen levels to prevent Breast Cancer. This is certainly true in the world of conventional medicine, with its reliance on medications like Aromatase Inhibitors and drugs like Tamoxifen. 

And if you are on the path of healing your body naturally, an awareness of the necessity as well as the dangers of estrogen is important. This is especially true in today’s world, where “Xeno-estrogens” or chemical estrogens, abound in food preservatives, environmental chemicals, plastics and even cosmetics and amalgams.  These chemical estrogens bare a strong resemblance to naturally-occurring estrogens and can mimic estrogen in the body, causing an estrogen overload.

What is a Phytoestrogen?

There is another side of the coin, however. Phytoestrogens are plant nutrients that are said to produce “estrogen-like” action in the body. They are often called “gentle estrogens” because of their healing, rather than carcinogenic effect. There are over 4,400 different kinds of phytoestrogens in the plant kingdom and the majority of studies around them focus on the estrogen-like properties of either lignans (found in flax, whole grains and some nuts) or isoflavonoids, found mostly in soy products.

Phytoestrogens differ from estrogen in many ways, however. In fact, some researchers, such as Mr. Walter H Wainright, Founder and Chief Counselor for Haelan Research Foundation, refer to phytoestrogens as “anti-estrogens” because of the role that they play in stopping the spread of estrogen-receptive cancers such as Breast Cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.  A big part of how phytoestrogens work, especially those derived from soybeans, has to do with where they position themselves within the cell.

How Fermented Soy Prevents Breast Cancer

It was originally thought that all estrogens and pseudo-estrogens─ that includes naturally-occurring estrogens, Xeno-estrogens and phytoestrogens─ vied for the same receptor sites. However, in estrogen receptors1995, Nobel Prize-winning researcher Prof. Jan Gustafsson discovered what he called the “estrogen receptor beta site” or ER-b. This discovery opened up a whole new level of inquiry regarding cellular immunity as well as the relationship between what is now called “estrogen receptor site a” (ER-a) and ER-b. Simply put, estrogen and Xeno-estrogen go to site ER-a exclusively while soy phytoestrogens in particular “have very low affinity for the ER-a sites and at least 20 to 30 times greater affinity for the ER-b site than the ER-a site.”

Why is this good news for you? According to Wainright, “soy phytoestrogens reduce the number of ER-a sites in a cell and increases the ER-b sites in cells.”  Less ER-a sites means less places for super-aggressive estrogens to land and less opportunity for ER-positive cancer cells to grow.

Wainright sums up the process as such:

“The reduction of ER-a sites by the consumption of fermented, whole soy, not isolates from soy, like isoflavones, results in reducing circulating estrogen levels in women.

This will slow down the growth of ER-positive cancers, not promote their growth. The excreted estrogens are the 4-hydroxyestrogens and 16-hydroxyestrogens that damage DNA [and] cause and promote cancer growth. This reduction in circulating estrogens lowers the estrogenic index and is beneficial to the ER-Positive cancer patient.”

Here are a few key effects of fermented soy:

  • Contain high concentrations of Isoflavones, protease inhibitors, saponine, phytosterols, and phytic acid compounds that exhibit anticancer activity in preclinical models. 
  • Research supports the prospective evaluation of fermented soy products as an alternative therapy in patients and cancers that are not responsive to chemotherapy. 
  • The use of these products to enhance chemotherapy, reduce toxic effects of chemotherapy and prevent mutations induced by chemotherapy offers new hope for many patients. 
  • The greater role of soy phytoestrogens and the other soy compounds may be found in the field of anti-aging and preventive medicine because of their ability to repair DNA.

Wainright and others point out the importance of consuming high-quality fermented soy such as that found in organic miso paste, natto, tempeh and pickled tofu. A key product that contains a powerful fermented soy is called Haelan. This product contains a very concentrated form of bioavailable, supportive nutrients as well as protective phyto-estrogens compared to soy-isolated products, such as those found in soy-based protein powders.

ER-Positive Breast Cancer and other similar cancers are caused in large part by a deficiency in ER-b sites. To conclude – Soy phytoestrogens occupy the Immune Building RECEPTOR SITES (ER-b) and provide powerful cellular immunity.  In this respect, adding high-quality, organically-produced and non-GMO fermented soy products, such as Haelan,  to your diet can be a powerful way to heal your body naturally and keep Breast Cancer at bay.

  • Is it safe for a women who has had breast cancer to have fermented soy in her vitamin supplements?

  • I have been diagnosed with HR-2 positive and HER-2 positive breast cancer and my oncologist recommends I stay away from ALL soy because my cancer is estrogen-based. I asked him about fermented soy (Haelan specifically) and he said my my cancer won’t be healed if I take ANY soy. I am currently taking Letrozone and Ibrance. Apparently there are little to no studies about a, what my oncologist calls “triple positive” cancer, so I am on a mix of meds. I just want to get better! I have done a lot of research on fermented soy and know it can help, but am always looking at opinions from other sites, so any help or guidance you provide is greatly appreciated!