High phytoestrogen intake during adolescence is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Breast density (BD) is a strong predictor of breast cancer and can be considered an early marker. We aim to assess the association between the mean habitual intake of isoflavones, lignans, and total phytoestrogens intake during puberty until 2 years after menarche onset and absolute fibroglandular volume (AFGV) and percentage of fibroglandular volume (%FGV) in Hispanic girls at the end of puberty.
Longitudinal study set up in the Growth and Obesity Chilean Cohort Study (GOCS). We included 329 girls with dietary data (multiple 24-hours recalls) from puberty until 2 years after menarche onset (81% had 2–4 recalls). Two international datasets were used to estimate isoflavones, lignans, and total phytoestrogens in the diet. Breast composition was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at 2 years after menarche. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess the association between isoflavones, lignans, and total phytoestrogens intake and AFGV and %FGV.
The average total phytoestrogen intake was 1 mg/day and %FGV was 50.7% (SD = 15.2) and AFGV 218.8 cm3 (SD = 79.3). An inverse association was found between consumption of isoflavones and AFGV, as well as, with total phytoestrogens [Q4 vs. Q1 adjusted model ß = −49.2 cm3; 95% CI (−85.5 to −13.0)].
Girls with a higher intake of total phytoestrogens and isoflavones during puberty until 2 years after menarche onset had significantly lower AFGV.
Although the intake of phytoestrogens is low in Western populations, higher consumption of them during a critical period of life like puberty could be beneficial to reduce breast cancer during adulthood.