Health & Wellness

Top 13 Foods to Avoid When Taking Anastrozole

Looking for foods to avoid when taking Anastrozole. When undergoing breast cancer treatment, medications like Anastrozole are crucial in inhibiting the production of estrogen, a hormone that can fuel the growth of certain breast cancers.

Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor that reduces estrogen levels in the body. This medication is commonly prescribed to women with breast cancer, as it helps reduce the risk of recurrence and progression of the tumour.

The main focus is frequently on taking your medicine and lifestyle modifications, such as exercise and keeping a healthy weight; it’s essential to take dietary choices into account as well. No specific meals must be avoided at all costs, but knowing which foods could potentially interact with anastrozole or lessen its effectiveness can help improve the effects of therapy.

This article will discuss some essential dietary recommendations for people taking anastrozole.

In This Article

  1. Foods to Avoid When Taking Anastrozole

Foods to Avoid When Taking Anastrozole

Foods to Avoid When Taking Anastrozole

Here we have listed what are there foods to avoid when taking anastrozole:

1. Soy Products

It’s important to be aware that soy products contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances that have an estrogen-like effect on the body and could interfere with the effectiveness of this particular medication. So if you’re on Anastrozole, limit your consumption of soy products.

2. Raw fruits and vegetables

It’s important to be aware that raw fruits and vegetables can increase the risk of diarrhea. This is especially true for those taking aromatase inhibitors, as around 4-5% experience this side effect.

Not only does diarrhea increase the risk of dehydration, but it also reduces the effectiveness of oral medications. So if you’re taking Anastrozole medication for any reason, try limiting your intake of raw fruit and vegetables.

3. Sunflower oil

Did you know sunflower oil is a rich source of Omega-6 fatty acids associated with estrogen dominance? This hormone imbalance can prevent anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, from working properly.

It’s also possible for sunflower seeds to contain cadmium – a heavy metal that mimics estrogen and increases the risk of breast cancer.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Food to avoid with anastrozole is artificial sweeteners. Some individuals may experience joint pain as a side effect. In some cases, certain artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin have been reported to worsen joint discomfort in people who already have it.

So if you’re taking Anastrozole and experiencing joint pain, check with your doctor about avoiding these sugar substitutes.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol can interact with medications like Anastrozole. The metabolism and effectiveness of the medication may be affected by consuming alcohol as it could interfere with how the medicine is absorbed or eliminated from our bodies. This could reduce its efficacy, so it’s best to avoid drinking when taking any kind of medication.

6. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice

Did you know that grapefruit and grapefruit juice contain compounds called furanocoumarins? These compounds can interfere with the metabolism of certain medications, including Anastrozole.

They inhibit an enzyme in your liver called CYP3A4, which metabolises Anastrozole. This could increase drug levels in your bloodstream and potentially cause side effects.

7. Caffeine

Caffeine can be found in many drinks, from coffee and tea to energy drinks and sodas. While it’s generally safe for most people, those undergoing breast cancer treatment may be more sensitive to caffeine due to factors like hormone levels or medication interactions.

So if you’re being treated for breast cancer, it might be worth reducing your caffeine intake just in case!

8. Processed food

As you may know, Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor that reduces estrogen levels in the body. Processed foods like those containing refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats can harm hormone balance and counteract the effects of this medication. So if you’re taking Anastrozole, stick with healthy whole foods as much as possible for optimal results!

9. High-Sodium Foods

For those undergoing breast cancer treatment, fluid retention is a common side effect, and high-sodium foods can make it worse by causing the body to retain more water, leading to swelling, discomfort, and weight gain.

Additionally, those taking Anastrozole may be at risk for developing high blood pressure if they have a diet with too much sodium – this could cause cardiovascular problems.

10. Flaxseed

Flaxseed contains compounds called lignans, which are phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that can have estrogen-like effects on the body.

Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor that reduces estrogen production in postmenopausal women, as estrogen can stimulate the growth of certain types of breast cancer.

11. Red meat

It’s important to be mindful of how much red meat we consume. While beef and lamb are tasty, eating too much can increase our risk for certain health conditions like heart disease and cancer. It’s best to eat red meat in moderation and choose lean cuts when possible to stay healthy.

12. Excess Sugar

Anastrozole does not directly affect blood sugar levels; some breast cancer patients may have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, making managing their condition more challenging.

So if you’re a patient taking Anastrozole, be mindful of your sugar intake so that blood sugar spikes don’t occur.

13. Herbs and spices

What to avoid when taking anastrozole are some herbs and spices. Some herbal supplements and certain spices may have interactions or effects that could interfere with the medication or its efficacy.

It’s always best to consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized advice regarding specific herbs and spices.

Q. Should anastrozole be taken with food?

Ans- You can take anastrozole with or without food. Some might find that taking anastrozole with food reduces any possible gastrointestinal pain that may develop as a side effect of the medicine. However, some people prefer to take it on an empty stomach to maximize absorption.

Q. Does alcohol affect anastrozole?

Ans- Yes, alcohol and anastrozole may interact and reduce anastrozole’s effectiveness. While taking anastrozole, drinking alcohol can raise your risk of experiencing some adverse effects.

Anastrozole is metabolized in the liver, and alcohol can also strain the liver. Consuming alcohol while on Anastrozole may increase the risk of liver problems or exacerbate existing liver conditions.


In conclusion, while taking Anastrozole, it is important to ensure that you eat a balanced diet with plenty of nutrient-rich foods. This will help support your overall health and optimize the effectiveness of the medication.

No specific foods need to be avoided when taking Anastrozole, but being mindful about what you eat can go a long way in keeping yourself healthy and feeling great!

Be sure to read:

  1. Foods to Avoid if Alkaline Phosphatase is High
  2. Foods to Avoid When Taking Colchicine
  3. Foods to Avoid while Taking Fosamax


  1. Precautions for Patients Taking Aromatase Inhibitors
  2. Soy products in the management of breast cancer
  3. Aromatase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Breast Cancer

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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