Equol, Adiponectin, Insulin Levels and Risk of Breast Cancer


Breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers and the leading cause of cancer death among women. Soy isoflavones have been widely studied and among all isoflavones equol has been gaining interest with regard to its relationship with breast cancer risk. Obesity has been revealed as one of the breast cancer risk factors, known to be associated with high levels of circulating insulin and decreased levels of adiponectin. Hence there have been many studies investigating relationships between insulin and adiponectin levels and breast cancer risk. Additionally recent findings have suggested that insulin and adiponectin themselves may have influence on breast cancer development, independent of obesity. In the present review, we discuss the relationships between breast cancer risk and equol, insulin and adiponectin levels, which are three important factors in our ongoing hospital-based case-control study. Herein these factors are reviewed not only from the clinical viewpoint but also from possible chemical and biological points of view which may explain clinical observations.