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Fruits and Vegetables


BY TONI CHAMBERS - Clinical Nutritionist

The world we live in is increasingly toxic and our food choices are often questionable. In order to reduce our risk of developing breast issues including painful, swollen breasts, and more sinister conditions including breast cancer, it’s important to do a stock take of our diet and lifestyle.

Oestrogen is a steroid hormone that, when in high enough amounts, can contribute to the development of breast cancer. There are several sources of oestrogen: our liver makes it, our breast makes it, and we are exposed to what’s called xenoestrogens. These are man-made chemicals that act like oestrogen in the body.

An increase in fat tissue in the breast also increases oestrogen levels by increasing breast production of oestrogen. 2 

Other factors that increase oestrogen in breast tissue are IVF and Oral Contraceptive Pill use. Coupled with a reduced ability to remove oestrogen from the body, this increases the amount of the hormone in the body.

So these are the problems, what are the solutions?

The aim is to reduce our exposure to oestrogen:


🛒  Complete an environmental stock take, looking specifically at xenoestrogens – found in plastics, air pollution, pesticides, personal care products. Reduce/eliminate plastics from your household (plastic bags, plastic wrap and plastic containers for food storage can gradually be replaced with stainless steel and glass containers and cloth or bamboo food bags); wash non-organic fruits and vegetables in white vinegar and water before use to remove pesticide residues. Consider making your own cleaning products with bicarbonate and vinegar – it’s all you need. Check the labels of all of your personal care products and ensure they contain ingredients you can pronounce and are devoid of the ones you can’t including phthalates and parabens; better still, make your own! Drink your coffee from a glass or stainless steel BYO cup as takeaway cups are coated in plastic! Invest in a reverse osmosis water filter to remove the nasties from your tap water! If you don’t filter your water, you become the filter. Invest in some indoor plants (not in your bedroom though!) to

help filter the air. Overwhelming? Don’t stress, these changes can be made gradually. Every time you finish an item, just replace with a new version.

🧴 Everything that touches your chest matters including soaps, moisturisers, perfumes and body oils; bras, undergarment and clothing material. Use natural fibres where possible, including wool and cotton.

🏃‍♀️ Make sure you sweat – either through exercise or regular trips to the sauna.

🌹 Consider changing to a natural deodorant.

🤸‍♀️ Get plenty of exercise as this is a natural detoxifier, among its many other benefits. Exercise reduces oestrogen levels; and improves our body’s response to eating carbohydrates. 20 



🧀 Remove dairy – dairy contributes to 15% higher oestrogen. 16


🍎 Consume 30g of fibre daily by eating a diet with a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables. Fibre encourages the removal of oestrogen from the body via the bowels. 17


☕ Removing methylxanthines found in coffee, black tea, chocolate and cola drinks significantly reduces pain associated with fibrocystic breasts. Half of all reproductive aged women suffer from fibrocystic breasts. 18


🍷 Remove or reduce alcohol as it increases oestrogen levels. 19


🥦 Consider cruciferous vegetables, rosemary and flaxseed to support healthy oestrogen levels.

🍣 Lean sources of protein in adequate amounts (1.8-2g/kg of body weight/day) ensures optimal liver functioning.


❤️‍🩹 Iron – low iron levels in the blood can mean higher oestrogen levels. 5

❤️‍🩹 Magnesium – helps reduce oestrogen. 6

❤️‍🩹 Iodine – High doses (only to be prescribed by a healthcare practitioner) can alleviate the symptoms of fibrocystic breasts. 7

❤️‍🩹 Vitamin D – reduces oestrogen production in the breast. 8

❤️‍🩹 Zinc – interferes with prolactin synthesis, storage, release and peripheral action. If deficient, check copper and oestrogen levels as copper is raised with increased oestrogen. 9

❤️‍🩹 Vitamin B6 – with or without evening primrose oil reduces pain for women with fibrocystic breasts. 10

❤️‍🩹 Vitamin C – indirectly reduces oestrogen. 12

❤️‍🩹 Vitamin E – indirectly reduces oestrogen. 13


❤️‍🩹 Glutathione – helps normalise liver detoxification pathways; it is an antioxidant, and is involved in cancer prevention. 15

Toni Chambers is a Clinical Nutritionist, B. Health Sc (Nut. Med.) from True Foods Nutrition in Sydney, Australia. 

If you’ve been struggling with your health and have had no answers, it may be time to seek help through a holistic approach, to uncover the underlying ROOT CAUSES of your health problems.

True Foods Nutrition thrive on putting together your unique health puzzle and restoring your health and well-being with specialists in Health Testing, Nutrition, Naturopathy and Hypnotherapy.

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2. Jefcoate, C. R., Liehr, J. G., Santen, R. J., Sutter, T. R., Yager, J. D., Yue, W., Santner, S. J., Tekmal, R., Demers, L., Pauley, R., Naftolin, F., Mor, G., & Berstein, L. (2000). Tissue-specific synthesis and oxidative metabolism of estrogens. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Monographs, 27, 95–112.

3. Minakami H, Kimura K, Ijima K, Tamada T. Effects of progesterone on prolactin secretion in hypogonadal women. Endocrinol Jpn. 1985 Oct;32(5):645-51. doi: 10.1507/endocrj1954.32.645. PMID: 4092671.

4. Li, M., Song, Y., Rawal, S., Hinkle, S. N., Zhu, Y., Tekola-Ayele, F., Ferrara, A., Tsai, M. Y., & Zhang, C. (2020). Plasma Prolactin and Progesterone Levels and the Risk of Gestational Diabetes: A Prospective and Longitudinal Study in a Multiracial Cohort. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 11, [83].

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6. Parazzini, F., Di Martino, M., & Pellegrino, P. (2017). Magnesium in the gynecological practice: A literature review. Magnesium Research, 30(1), 1–7. Magnesium

7. Kessler JH. (2004) The effect of supraphysiologic levels of iodine on patients with cyclic mastalgia. The breast journal; 10:328–336. Iodine

8. Cui, Y., & Rohan, T. E. (2006). Vitamin D, calcium, and breast cancer risk: A review. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention: A Publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 15(8),

1427–1437. Vitamin D

9. Brandão-Neto, J., Madureira, G., Mendonça, B. B., Bloise, W., & Castro, A. V. (1995). Endocrine interaction between zinc and prolactin. An interpretative review. Biological Trace Element Research, 49(2–3), 139–149. Zinc

10. Jahdi, F., Tolouei, R., Samani, L. N., Hashemian, M., Haghani, H., Mojab, F., & Memarzadeh, M. (2019). Effect of Evening Primrose Oil and Vitamin B6 on Pain Control of Cyclic Mastalgia Associated with Fibrocystic Breast Changes: A Triple-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial.

Shiraz E-Medical Journal, 20(5). B6/EPO

11. AlSaad, D., Awaisu, A., Elsalem, S., Abdulrouf, P. V., Thomas, B., & AlHail, M. (2017). Is pyridoxine effective and safe for post-partum lactation inhibition? A systematic review. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 42(4), 373–382. B6 inhibits prolactin

12. Henmi, H., Endo, T., Kitajima, Y., Manase, K., Hata, H., & Kudo, R. (2003). Effects of ascorbic acid supplementation on serum progesterone levels in patients with a luteal phase defect. Fertility and Sterility, 80(2), 459–461. Vit C

13. Takasaki, A., Tamura, H., Taniguchi, K., Asada, H., Taketani, T., Matsuoka, A., Yamagata, Y., Shimamura, K., Morioka, H., & Sugino, N. (2009). Luteal blood flow and luteal function. Journal of Ovarian Research, 2, 1.

14. Dinicola S, Unfer V, Facchinetti F, et al. Inositols: From established knowledge to novel approaches. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(19):1-30. doi:10.3390/ijms221910575 

15. Richie JP Jr, Nichenametla S, Neidig W, Calcagnotto A, Haley JS, Schell TD, Muscat JE. Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione. Eur J Nutr. 2015 Mar;54(2):251-63. doi: 10.1007/s00394-014-0706-z. Epub 2014 May 5. PMID: 24791752.

16. Brinkman, M. T., Baglietto, L., Krishnan, K., English, D. R., Severi, G., Morris, H. A., Hopper, J. L., & Giles, G. G. (2010). Consumption of animal products, their nutrient components and postmenopausal circulating steroid hormone concentrations. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 64(2), 176–183. dairy

17. Gaskins, A. J., Mumford, S. L., Zhang, C., Wactawski-Wende, J., Hovey, K. M., Whitcomb, B. W., Howards, P. P., Perkins, N. J., Yeung, E., Schisterman, E. F., & BioCycle Study Group. (2009). Effect of daily fiber intake on reproductive function: The BioCycle Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(4), 1061–1069. fibre

18. Malherbe, K., Khan, M., & Fatima, S. (2022). Fibrocystic Breast Disease. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. Coffee

19. Patel, S., Homaei, A., Raju, A. B., & Meher, B. R. (2018). Estrogen: The necessary evil for human health, and ways to tame it. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, 102, 403–411. Alcohol

20. Peila, R., Chlebowski, R. T., Ballinger, T. J., Kamensky, V., Richey, P. A., Saquib, N., Shadyab, A. H., Wassertheil-Smoller, S., & Rohan, T. E. (2021). Physical activity and risk of benign proliferative epithelial disorders of the breast, in the Women’s Health Initiative. International Journal of Epidemiology, 50(6), 1948–1958. exercise

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