Health Care Professional Information

Brand Name

Haelan 951

Clinical Summary

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.

Purported Uses
  • AIDS
  • Allergies
  • Cancer treatment
  • Inflammation
Constituents
  • Genistein
  • Daidzein
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C, D, E, and K
    (1)
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).

Contraindications
Herb-Drug Interactions

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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References
  1. Product website. http://www.haelanproducts.com. Accessed October 24, 2012.
  2. Djuric Z, et al. Effect of soy isoflavone supplementation on markers of oxidative stress in men and women. Cancer Lett 2001;172:1-6
  3. Setchell KD. Phytoestrogens: the biochemistry, physiology, and implications for human health of soy isoflavones. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;6:1333S-46S.
  4. Hasler CM, Finn SC. Soy: just a hill of beans? J Womens Health 1998;7:519-23.
  5. Ju YH, et al. Dietary genistein negates the inhibitory effects of tamoxifen on growth of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells implanted in athymic mice. Can Res 2002;62:2474-7.
  6. Hsieh CY, et al. Estrogenic effects of genistein on the growth of estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells in vitro and in vivo. Cancer Res 1998;58:3833-8.
  7. Sage D. Healing breast cancer with Haelan. Well Being Journal 1999;8(6).
  8. Nair V. and Hernandez V. Fermented soy: An aid to cancer prevention and therapy. Well being journal 2002:11(6).

Consumer Information

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.

Purported Uses
  • Cancer Treatment
    There are no data to support this use.
  • Allergy
    Data are lacking to support the role of Haelan in treating allergies.
  • Inflammation
    There is no scientific evidence to support this use.
  • AIDS
    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)
E-mail your questions and comments to aboutherbs@mskcc.org.