Fibrocystic breast disease diet

A diet high in fiber and unrefined foods, and low in saturated fat and salt, plays a role in reducing the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Soy foods may also be beneficial as they contain high levels of estrogen-like compounds and may improve hormonal balance. Regular consumption of oily fish, which contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, may also be useful. Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine; which are found in coffee, tea, cola and chocolate; may play a role in stimulating overproduction of fibrous tissue and cyst fluid, and should be avoided. Obesity may also exacerbate fibrocystic breast disease.

Fibrocystic breast disease dietVitamins, minerals and fibrocystic breast disease

Vitamin A

In a 1984 study, 12 twelve patients with benign breast disease were treated with daily doses of 150,000 IU of vitamin A. After three months of treatment, nine of the women experienced marked pain reduction and five patients had at least a 50 per cent decrease in the size of their breast lumps. The lessening of breast pain was still evident eight months after the study ended. However, vitamin A in high doses can cause toxic symptoms, and several women in this

study had severe headaches during treatment, while several other women had milder side effects.

Vitamin E

Some research suggests that vitamin E levels maybe lower in fibrocystic breast disease sufferers. In a 1985 double-blind, randomized dose-response study, 75 women with benign breast disease were treated for two months with placebo or vitamin E in doses of 150,300, or 600 IU per day. The results showed that vitamin E was significantly more effective than placebo.

In a 1981 study, 17 young women with fibrocystic breast disease and six age-matched controls were treated with vitamin E for four months. Blood samples collected at monthly intervals were analyzed for various hormone and blood fat levels. Fifteen patients showed improvements in symptoms and laboratory measurements showed normalization of abnormal hormone and lipid levels in the patients. Other studies also suggest that vitamin E supplements may correct the hormonal imbalances seen in fibrocystic breast disease patients. However, not all studies have shown beneficial effects.


Iodine deficiency may play a role in fibrocystic breast disease, possibly by increasing the susceptibility of the tissue to estrogen stimulation. Some studies have shown that iodine treatment can relieve the symptoms, although the forms of iodine used in the studies are not available commercially.

Essential fatty acids

Fatty acid profiles may be abnormal in women with fibrocystic breast disease. Treatment with essential fatty acids may help to normalize this. Some studies have looked at the beneficial effects of evening primrose oil on fibrocystic breast disease. Evening primrose contains the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has beneficial effects in reducing inflammation.

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