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First study to evaluate mycoestrogens in young girls

October 22, 2017

The investigators measured zearalenone mycoestrogens and zeranol in the urine of 163 girls participating in the Jersey Girl Study and found detectable levels in 78 percent of the girls. More specifically, high levels of zearalenone mycoestrogens were found in 55 percent of the samples, while low levels of zeranol were found in more than 20 percent of the samples. Researchers also evaluated food sources for these mycoestrogens, and found that beef and popcorn intakes were strong predictors of detectable levels in urine. When researchers evaluated the association with growth and development, they found that girls with detectable urinary mycoestrogen levels tended to be shorter and less likely to have reached the onset of breast development.

"Because zearalenone mycoestrogens are widely distributed in the food supply, it is critical that we have a better understanding of their levels, their food sources and their effects on the development of young girls, which ultimately has important implications for their future breast cancer risk." said Dr. Bandera, who is the lead author of the research and an associate professor of epidemiology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "To our knowledge this is the first study evaluating mycoestrogens in healthy girls. More studies are needed in this very important research area. This is just the beginning."

Source: The Cancer Institute of New Jersey