Health Care Professional Information
Haelan is a nutritional supplement derived by fermentation of soybeans. It is thought to have immunostimulatory effects and is being promoted to treat cancer, inflammation, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Supporters claim that fermentation increases the bioavailability of isoflavones thereby potentiating their effects (1).
Several studies have shown that the isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, have antioxidant activity (2). They also exhibit antitumor effects in breast cancer, prostate cancer, sarcoma, and retinoblastoma cell lines (3) (4). However, some studies suggest that genistein has an antagonistic effect on tamoxifen and may actually promote the growth of tumor cells (5) (6).
No data are available on Haelan's antitumor effects in humans.
Adverse effects have not been reported with use of Haelan.
- Cancer treatment
- Protease Inhibitors
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C, D, E, and K
Mechanism of Action
The exact mechanism of Haelan's effects is unclear. Some studies have shown that isoflavones genistein and daidzein have antioxidant activity (2). They also exhibit antiproliferative effects in multiple cell lines including breast cancer, prostate cancer, neuroblastoma, sarcoma and retinoblastoma (3) (4). However, genistein also has an antagonistic effect on tamoxifen used to treat breast cancer (5) (6).
- Hypersensitivity to soy products
- Patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer
Genistein, an isoflavone in Haelan may antagonize the effects of tamoxifen used for estrogen-dependent breast cancer (5) (6).
Dosage (Inside MSKCC Only)
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How It Works
Bottom Line: Haelan has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.
Haelan is a dietary supplement obtained by fermentation of soybeans. It contains compounds known as isoflavones that act like estrogen in the body and also have antioxidant activity. Laboratory studies have shown that these compounds slow down the growth of tumor cells. But recent studies indicate that isoflavones may also promote certain breast cancers.
Patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers should avoid Haelan.
- Cancer Treatment
There are no data to support this use.
Data are lacking to support the role of Haelan in treating allergies.
There is no scientific evidence to support this use.
This use is not backed by scientific evidence.
Do Not Take If
- You have hypersensitivity to soy products
- You are taking tamoxifen for estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (the isoflavones in Haelan may reduce the effects of tamoxifen)
Last updated: October 24, 2012