A number of women under post-menopausal stage undergo hormone replacement therapy by taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone. However, this treatment increases the risk of these women to develop breast cancer tumors. A new study aims to send hope to post-menopausal females through a recently identified natural compound that combats the effects of tumor-causing hormones.
The breakthrough compound is called luteolin, a naturally-occuring substance found in some plants — parsley, thyme, broccoli, and celery, to name a few. A team of researchers from the University of Missouri led by Salman Hyder discovered that the compound inhibits the connection of blood vessels in a woman’s breast tissue to cancer cells.
Laboratory tests were done in-vitro on human breast cancer cells, as well as on mice with breast cancer. Both tests showed that luteolin exhibited anti-tumor characteristics.
“Research has proven that a higher incidence of breast cancer tumors can occur in women receiving therapies that involve a combination of the natural component estrogen and the synthetic progestin,” said Hyder in a news item. With the discovery of luteolin and its promising advantages to human health, the researchers believe that more studies should be conducted to develop the compound as a real treatment option. “We feel that luteolin can be effective when injected directly into the bloodstream, so IV supplements may still be a possibility,” Hyder said.
While the compound has not yet been studied in great detail, Hyder believes that women can benefit from a healthy diet. “Until the supplement is tested for safety and commercialized, which we hope will happen after further testing and clinical trials, women should continue consuming a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.”