Curcumin and genistein, plant natural products, show synergistic inhibitory effects on the growth of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells induced by estrogenic pesticides.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Apr 28;233(3):692-6. PMID: 9168916
Department of Community Health. Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.
Curcumin and genistein are two natural products of plants obtained from Curcuma longa Linn (turmeric) and soybeans, respectively. Both compounds when present at micromolar concentrations are able to inhibit the growth of estrogen-positive human breast MCF-7 cells induced individually or by a mixture of the pesticides endosulfane, DDT and chlordane or 17-beta estradiol. When curcumin and genistein were added together to MCF-7 cells, a synergistic effect resulting in a total inhibition of the induction of MCF-7 cells by the highly estrogenic activity of endosulfane/chlordane/DDT mixtures was noted. These data suggest that the combination of curcumin and genistein in the diet have the potential to reduce the proliferation of estrogen-positive cells by mixtures of pesticides or 17-beta estradiol. Since it is difficult to remove pesticides completely from the environment or the diet and since both turmeric and soybeans are not toxic to humans, their inclusion in the diet in order to prevent hormone related cancers deserves consideration.