This week’s research review has articles on:
Melatonin and breast cancer
Phytochemicals that inhibit aromatase for breast cancer prevention
A review article on testosterone and the metabolic syndrome.
An Overview of Melatonin and Breast Cancer by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
Download from Natural Medicine Journal.com
Phytochemicals for breast cancer prevention by targeting aromatase
(Adams and Chen 2009) Download
Aromatase is a cytochrome P450 enzyme (CYP19) and is the rate limiting enzyme in the conversion of androgens to estrogens. Suppression of in situ estrogen production through aromatase inhibition is the current treatment strategy for hormone-responsive breast cancers. Drugs that inhibit aromatase have been developed and are currently utilized as adjuvant therapy for breast cancer in post-menopausal women with hormone dependent breast cancer. Natural compounds have been studied extensively for important biologic effects such as antioxidant, anti-tumor and anti-viral effects. A significant number of studies have also investigated the aromatase inhibitory properties of a variety of plant extracts and phytochemicals. The identification of natural compounds that inhibit aromatase could be useful both from a chemopreventive standpoint and in the development of new aromatase inhibitory drugs. This review will discuss whole food extracts and the common classes of phytochemicals which have been investigated for potential aromatase inhibitory activity. We will review reported aromatase inhibition, kinetic data and possible structural variations that may inhibit or enhance the interaction of phytochemicals with the aromatase enzyme.
The role of testosterone in the metabolic syndrome: a review
(Saad and Gooren 2009) Download
Over the last three decades it has become apparent that testosterone plays a significant role in the maintenance of bone and muscle mass, in erythropoiesis, and in mental functions. But testosterone is also a key player in glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism. The metabolic syndrome is a clustering of risk factors predisposing to late onset diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The main components of the syndrome are visceral obesity, glucose intolerance, raised blood pressure and dyslipidaemia (elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol),and a pro-inflammatory and thrombogenic state. Cross-sectional epidemiological studies have reported a direct correlation between plasma testosterone and insulin sensitivity, and low testosterone levels are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, dramatically illustrated by androgen deprivation in men with prostate carcinoma. Lower total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin(SHBG) predict a higher incidence of the metabolic syndrome. There is now evidence to argue that hypotestosteronaemia should be an element in the definition of the metabolic syndrome. Administration of testosterone to hypogonadal men reverses the unfavorable risk profile for the development of diabetes and atherosclerosis. Testosterone should be regarded as a pivotal hormone for men's health.
Adams, L. S. and S. Chen (2009). "Phytochemicals for breast cancer prevention by targeting aromatase." Front Biosci 14: 3846-63.
Saad, F. and L. Gooren (2009). "The role of testosterone in the metabolic syndrome: a review." J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 114(1-2): 40-3.