Estrogen Blockers


Initially, Chen and his colleagues found that a group of phytochemicals called procyanidin B dimer - part of the polyphenol family - were potent inhibitors of aromatase. Knowing that grape seeds are a rich source of procyanidin B, the researchers tested the aromatase-inhibiting ability of 13 brands of grape seed extracts. A series of cell and animal studies found that 10 of the brands significantly inhibited aromatase. "These findings encouraged us to screen a variety of vegetables to identify dietary sources for aromatase inhibitors," Chen says.

With funding from AICR, Chen tested seven vegetable extracts and found white button mushroom extract was most effective at preventing the production of aromatase. That led to investigating other mushroom varieties. Cell studies showed that shiitake, portabello, crimini and baby button mushrooms also inhibited aromatase activity.

The next step was to determine the active components of the foods and identify the amount needed. For instance, in white button mushrooms he and his colleagues pinpointed conjugated linoleic acid as holding the main anti-aromatase effect. Based on these studies and others, the City of Hope has begun clinical trials with grape seed extract and mushrooms.

Pomegranates are a rich source of ellagitannins – converted into ellagic acid in the body. In the gut, bacteria break down the compounds into metabolites that studies have found slow the growth of human prostate and breast cancer cells.








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