Can hops help reduce the risk of breast cancer?

- Jun 10, 2020-

In a new study, researchers from the UIC/NIH Center for Plant Dietary Supplements At the University of Illinois at Chicago found that rich hop extracts activate a chemical detoxification pathway in breast cells that could help prevent breast cancer. The findings were published online June 7, 2016 in the Journal of chemical research in the American Chemical Society (ACS) under the title "Humulus Lupulus L." Extract and 6-Prenylnaringenin Induce P450 1A1 Catalyzed Estrogen 2-Hydroxylation."

Natural plant dietary supplements, such as hops, are becoming increasingly popular among women with postmenopausal symptoms because they are considered hormone therapy--- a safer alternative to --- associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. However, the efficacy and potential toxicity of plant-based drugs are still under study.

Hop extract promises to treat breast cancer

In the new study, study author Judy Bolton, a professor of pharmacology and biopharmacology at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Pharmacy, and her colleagues added hop extract to two different breast cell lines to see if the extract affects estrogen metabolism, a key mechanism in breast cancer. As a compound in its extract, 6-prenylnarigenin (6-PN) enhances the detoxification pathways in these breast cells, and this increased activity of the detoxification pathway is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.

"We need to explore this possibility further, but our findings suggest that 6-PN may have anti-cancer effects," Bolton said. "

In addition to 6-PN, Bolton and her colleagues also studied the effects of 8-prenylnarigenin (8-PN), isosoforol (isoxanthumol, IX) and stephofol (xanthuhumol, XH) on estrogen metabolism in the breast cell line. According to Bolton, 8-PN only increases estrogen metabolism in both breast cell lines, and the remaining two compounds have no significant effect on either of the two breast cell lines.

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