Phytoestrogens' protective effects against cancers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that have chemical structures similar to those of estrogens, but act as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM). Therefore, there are speculations that phytoestrogens may be beneficial in breast cancer prevention and treatment, and other hormone dependent cancers as well. Objective: To present comprehensive information about phytoestrogens, their protective effects against cancer, and the mechanism of protection. Design: A review of the literature concerning phytoestrogens and their protective effects against cancer. Methods: We reviewed the literature, summarize, and presented in a comprehensive and schematic way the protective effects of phytoestrogens and their mechanism Results: Epidemiological, prospective and case studies highly supported the beneficial protective effects of phytoestrogens against cancer. Further, some animal and in-vitro studies explained the various mechanisms of prevention of certain cancers by phytoestrogens. Conclusion: Phytoestrogens are very promising in the treatment and prevention of certain cancers, especially hormone dependent cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-291
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • Breast
  • Flavonoids
  • Prostate
  • SERM
  • Soy


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