Dietary and environmental estrogens and antiestrogens and their possible role in human disease
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Recent reports have suggested that dietary and environmental estrogens such as organochlorine pollutants may play a role in the increased incidence of breast cancer in women and disorders of the male reproductive tract. For example, elevated levels of DDE and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) have been measured in women with breast cancer. However, it should also be noted that numerous environmental and dietary compounds have also been characterized as antiestrogenic and as inhibitors of mammary cancer cell growthin vitro and/orin vivo. Some of these compounds include 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), other naturally-occurring TCDD receptor agonists, retinoids, phorbol esters, terpenes, fatty acids, and polysaccharides. Thus, it is possible that dietary and environmental estrogens and antiestrogens may be contra-active, and these interactions must be considered in the overall risk assessment of the potential adverse human and environmental health impacts of these chemicals.
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