Cancer

Diet and reproductive hormones: a study of vegetarian and nonvegetarian postmenopausal women.

In comparison with matched nonvegetarian women, postmenopausal vegetarian women were found to have lower urinary levels of estriol and total estrogens, lower plasma prolactin levels, and higher plasma sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels. These differences were not explained by differences in body weight or obesity. Plasma SHBG levels were highly correlated with plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, which were also higher in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians.

Cancerostatic effect of vegetarian diets.

A cancerostatic effect of vegetarian diets is proposed on the basis of a selective alteration of the metabolic pathways of fatty acids in neoplastic cells. Most vegetables lack the enzyme 6-desaturase (6D), which converts linoleic to arachidonic acid. Human cells have 6D, and therefore humans do not need to eat the higher polyunsaturated fatty acids found in animal tissues. Many neoplastic cells have lost the activity of 6D. A vegetarian diet would deprive neoplastic cells of higher-chain fatty acids and inhibit the activity of 6D.

Dietary and hormonal interrelationships among vegetarian Seventh-Day Adventists and nonvegetarian men

The relationship between dietary nutrients and plasma testosterone, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, estradiol-17 beta, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin levels was investigated in 12 Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) vegetarian (SV), 10 SDA nonvegetarian (SNV), and 8 non-SDA nonvegetarian (NV) men. Fasting blood samples and 3-day dietary intake information were obtained from each subject. The SV subjects consumed significantly more crude and dietary fiber than the SNV and NV subjects, respectively.

The binding of blood-borne estrogens in normal vegetarian and omnivorous women and the risk of breast cancer.

Serial blood samples were taken at two-hour intervals over a 24-hour period from 25 premenopausal vegetarians (12 vegans and 13 ovolactovegetarians) and from 21 omnivorous controls. All members of the former group had been on a vegetarian diet for a minimum of three years. The mean proportion of estradiol unbound to blood proteins was similar in both vegetarians (1.26%) and meat eaters (1.16%). However, the amount bound to albumin was significantly raised in vegetarians (50.1% vs.

Diet and urinary estrogen profile in premenopausal omnivorous and vegetarian women and in premenopausal women with breast cancer.

The urinary estrogen profile was studied in the midfollicular phase twice, and diet four times during 1 yr in 10 premenopausal breast cancer (BC) patients consuming an omnivorous normal Finnish diet and in two control groups, one consuming an omnivorous (n = 12) and the other a lactovegetarian (n = 11) diet. Total fat intake in relation to caloric intake was almost identical in all three groups. Only with regard to grain fiber intake did the BC patients differ significantly from both other groups.

Natural killer cells, vitamins, and other blood components of vegetarian and omnivorous men.

The study population consisted of male vegetarians (aged 28-50 years), who were recruited from the vegetarian cohort being followed by the Department of Epidemiology (German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, FRG), and the same number of age- and sex-matched controls from the personnel of the same center. Among the vitamins tested, only the level of carotene was significantly higher in vegetarians; the levels of vitamin A, K, and E were not elevated. Among the other blood parameters tested, only creatinine and glutamine-transferase levels were significantly lower in vegetarians.

Diet and plasma androgens in postmenopausal vegetarian and omnivorous women and postmenopausal women with breast cancer.

We studied 27 postmenopausal women, 9 vegetarians, 10 omnivores, and 8 apparently healthy women with breast cancer (BC), four times during 1 y. Dietary intakes were recorded and plasma androgens and sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) binding capacity were determined. Androstenedione (A), testosterone (T), free T (FT), and SHBG were higher in omnivores than in vegetarians. In multiple correlation analysis, intakes of protein and fat were positively correlated with A, T, and FT, whereas the intakes of carbohydrate, grain, total fiber, and grain fiber showed the opposite correlations.

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