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Frequently Asked Questions


Q - Are there any foods I should avoid while taking Tamoxifen?

Thanks for visiting my web site. If you have concerns about soy foods, please re-visit my web site and click on the Q&A page, then breast cancer and/or soy to review what I have written already.

In regards to other foods of concern, the only one I have read about is tangerine peels, which contain a flavonoid called tangeretin that has been shown to counter the anti-estrogen effects of tamoxifen (1) . I used to throw a whole tangerine in my soy shake when they came in season until I read about that interaction. However, even with those many times that I did that, I have not had a recurrence of my breast cancer, so I would not worry too much about it. I would not avoid tangerine juice, which has been shown to have 20x less tangeretin than the tangerine peels. (2) However, this flavonoid is often put into dietary supplements, so be sure to read the labels of anything you might be taking on a daily basis.

Please make an appointment with the Registered Dietitian at your cancer center for any further information about diet and supplements you might have.

Best regards,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD


(1) Inhibition of tamoxifen's therapeutic benefit by tangeretin in mammary cancer. Depypere HT, Bracke ME, Boterberg T, Mareel MM, Nuytinck M, Vennekens K, Serreyn R. Eur J Cancer. 2000 Sep;36 Suppl 4:S73.

(2) Tangerine peels may lower cholesterol: peels contain 20 times the flavonoids of juice. Article based on interview with author from: Kurowska, E. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 12, 2004.

FAQ posted 6/04



Back to Main QandA Page


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