Effects of diet supplementation with wheat bran on serum estrogen levels in the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle

Nutrition. 1997 Jun;13(6):535-9. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(97)00032-4.


There is both epidemiologic and experimental support for the hypothesis that a high-fiber diet can reduce breast cancer risk; this may be due, at least in part, to a reduction in circulating estrogens. This study examined the effects of three levels of wheat bran supplementation (5, 10, and 20 g/d for 2 mo) on the major serum estrogens during both the luteal and follicular phases of the menstrual cycle. The 10- and 20-g supplements, which increased the total dietary fiber intakes to approximately 20 and 32 g/d, respectively, resulted in significant decreases in the luteal serum estrone (P < 0.05 and < 0.02, respectively). The serum estradiol was significantly reduced in the 10-g wheat bran group after 2 mo (P < 0.05); the 20-g supplemented group showed a significant decrease in estradiol at 1 mo (P < 0.02), but not at 2 mo. No changes occurred in the estrone sulfate concentrations. During the follicular phase, the 10-g wheat bran group exhibited a significant reduction in the serum estrone (P < 0.02). Only the serum estrone sulfate showed any reduction with the 20-g supplement, and this just failed to achieve significance (P = 0.07). Serum sex hormone-binding globulin levels were unaffected by wheat bran. When of long duration, these effects may be sufficient to favorably influence breast cancer risk in Western women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrogens / blood*
  • Estrone / analogs & derivatives
  • Estrone / blood
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / blood*
  • Humans
  • Luteal Phase / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Triticum / metabolism*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Estrogens
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Estrone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • estrone sulfate