A flavonoid commonly found in fruits and vegetables shows promise in reducing the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy, according to new research published in Springer Plus.

Salman Hyder, PhD, from the University of Missouri, and colleague noted that estrogen/progestin hormone replacement therapy has been linked to an increase in breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. The team sought to evaluate luteolin’s effects on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induction and angiogenesis in human breast cancer cells and animal models.

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The researchers observed a reduction in tumor growth and regression as luteolin blocked progestin-induced VEGF secretion similarly to apigenin, another flavonoid that was tested. However, they believe that luteolin is superior due to the low potential of metabolism into potentially toxic compounds. The results needs to be replicated in human clinical trials but Dr. Hyder stated, “We feel that luteolin can be effective when injected directly into the bloodstream, so IV supplements may still be a possibility.” Until additional research is conducted, women are advised to continue consuming a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables for these possible benefits.

For more information visit Missouri.edu.