Thursday, April 7, 2011

Soy Consumption and Breast Cancer

A recent study suggests that contrary to previous reports, soy consumption may not be linked to breast tumor growth.

Soy, a plant native to southeastern Asia, contains fiber, isoflavones and protein. Soy is believed to provide many health benefits, and has been studied scientifically for its effects on many conditions. Soy isoflavones, which may be found in products such as tofu, soybeans and soybean flour, are believed to have estrogen-like effects in the body. There is some evidence that suggests soy may help reduce menopausal symptoms; however, additional research is needed.

In a recent study, researchers analyzed data on 3088 breast cancer survivors from the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study. With an average follow-up period of 7.3 years, dietary intakes of isoflavones (soy) were measures through food questionnaires for each woman post-breast cancer diagnosis. Medical records, death certificates and reports from each patient were used to assess outcomes.

The researchers found that women who consumed the highest amounts of soy had a 54 percent reduced chance of death from breast cancer, contrary to reports that soy consumption may lead to adverse effects for breast cancer patients. However, the authors noted that these results were not statistically significant.

The authors concluded that despite previous findings, soy consumption may not cause adverse effects or increase the risk of death for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Additional research is necessary to confirm these findings.

For more information about soy, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements database.


1.Caan BJ, Natarajan L, Parker BA, et al. Soy Food Consumption and Breast Cancer Prognosis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Feb 25. View Abstract

2.Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.

No comments: