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Nutritional Testing and Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

By Michael Biamonte, CCN

There are several very significant risk factors for breast cancer that are newly discovered and typically not factored into the typical oncologist’s or internist’s approach. The breast cancer patient has been found to have certain underlying weaknesses or nutritional imbalances that make them more prone to this ailment, as well as other forms of reproductive cancers and reproductive health problems. 

Three key imbalances that typically occur in breast cancer patients are not usually taken into account by mainstream oncologists.

Low Progesterone

In an important study reported by Johns Hopkins University in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women were first measured for their estrogen and progesterone levels; placed in two groups, “low progesterone” and “normal progesterone”; and then monitored for 40 years for their susceptibility to cancers. The findings proved quite interesting.

The “low progesterone” group had approximately five and a half times the risk of breast cancer as the “normal progesterone” group. They also experienced a tenfold increase in deaths from all types of cancer compared with the “normal” group. 

A saliva hormone test can reveal imbalances of the free form of our reproductive hormones. It is also less expensive and more convenient than a blood test.

Mineral Imbalance

Another underlying imbalance that can pose a breast cancer risk has been researched and observed by David Watts, Ph.D., of Trace Elements Inc., an independent testing laboratory specializing in hair-tissue mineral analysis for healthcare professionals. Having reviewed the HTMA reports of thousands of women, Watts has found elevated levels of boron, copper and calcium, and lower levels of zinc, in women with breast cancer. 

Boron and copper seem to make the body more sensitive to the effects of estrogen and less responsive to progesterone; excess calcium in the tissues decreases thyroid hormone activity in our cells, and zinc helps the body produce and utilize progesterone.

Bottom line: This pattern of elevated boron, copper, and calcium levels and reduced zinc levels will make women less responsive to progesterone and more sensitive to estrogen.

But several studies also suggest that a zinc deficiency alone could be a risk factor for breast cancer.

A gene called P53 is thought to be the most frequently mutated or altered gene seen in human cancer. This gene requires zinc; if zinc is missing, the gene becomes mutated, resulting in its inactivation or suppression. A dysfunctional or altered P53 gene has been especially documented in patients with head and neck (e.g., esophageal) and gynecological (e.g., breast) cancers. 

Several toxic metals, including mercury, nickel, and cadmium, can suppress zinc in the body. Therefore an indirect effect of mercury, nickel, or cadmium toxicity is an altered gene P53.

It’s common to find elevated levels of these three elements in medically ill people, typically due to environmental exposure to chemicals and pollutants.

Intestinal Imbalances

D-glucarate is a naturally occurring chemical that lowers serum estrogen levels, thus reducing the risk of estrogen-related cancers. When the body has sufficient D-glucarate, it inhibits an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which is typically elevated where there is constipation or a deficiency of normal intestinal flora. This is also a common imbalance in people who suffer from chronic yeast infections or intestinal yeast overgrowth. Therefore constipation and yeast conditions can both indirectly cause or contribute to breast cancer.

A urinary indican test, which measures toxicity in the bowel, can also gauge one’s risk of intestinal flora disturbance. Bowel toxicity predisposes one to a D-glucarate deficiency.

Nutritional Testing

Antioxidant vitamins have been well documented to protect against all forms of cancers and to protect the breast tissues in particular. A new and simple urine test, the OxiData Test, measures the body’s antioxidant vitamin levels. It can be administered monthly while dietary and antioxidant supplements are introduced and adjusted—a quick and easy way to determine the levels of these protective nutrients.

Several laboratories also offer stool and urine testing to measure for these newly discovered cancer risks. The combination of saliva testing for hormones, HTMA testing for minerals, and urine or stool testing for D-glucarate, beta-glucuronidase and antioxidants can be a reliable way to monitor one’s risk for breast cancer.

Michael Biamonte owns the Biamonte Center for Clinical Nutrition, in Astoria. For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit

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