COLUMBIA, Mo. Hormone replacement therapies, or medications containing female hormones that substitute those no longer produced by the body, are often prescribed to reduce the effects of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms in women. Research and clinical trials on hormone replacement therapies have indicated a higher incidence of tumors, especially breast cancer, in post-menopausal women who take synthetic hormones; therefore, doctors have become more reluctant to prescribe the treatment. In 2011, studies conducted by University of Missouri researchers found that a natural compound called apigenin, which is found in celery, parsley, and apples, could reduce the incidence of tumor growth in women receiving hormone replacement therapy. Now, based on subsequent studies conducted by MU researchers, they are recommending that women not ingest pure apigenin as a supplement.
A new study shows that when the supplement apigenin is ingested in a diet at the same concentration as subjects received during IV injections in previous studiesthe benefits were reversed leading to a higher incidence of cancerous tumors in subjects receiving progestin.
"Typically, hormone replacement therapies improve the lives of menopausal women and achieve very good results," said Salman Hyder, the Zalk Endowed Professor in Tumor Angiogenesis and professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. "However, research has proven that in women receiving therapies that involve a combination of the natural component estrogen and the synthetic progestin, a higher incidence of breast cancer tumors can occur."
Hyder explains that many women normally have benign lesions in breast tissue. These lesions don't typically form tumors until they receive the "trigger" that attracts blood vessels to cells essentially feeding the lesions causing them to form and expand in this case, progestin is the trigger.
|Contact: Jeff Sossamon|
University of Missouri-Columbia