Soy linked to reduced breast cancer risk

April 19, 2006 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Soy linked to reduced breast cancer risk

Researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore and Georgetown University in Washington have found that women who eat plenty of soy foods have a lower risk of breast cancer.

Researchers looked at 18 population based studies of soy and breast cancer. Overall, they found women who ate soy had a 14 percent reduction in their risk of developing the disease.

Many of the studies involved people in Asia whose diets are naturally high in soy foods. In contrast, some women in Western countries try to gain the same benefit through soy supplements. However, researchers warn against taking high dose soy supplements and are actually looking into other lifestyle factors that may have been responsible for the decreased risk seen in the studies.

Asian women, who traditionally have a low rate of breast cancer, are more physically active and consume less alcohol than Western women, lifestyle factors that may also decrease their risk of the disease.

Researchers stress the importance of eating soy-based foods and not highly purified supplements, which may have different biological effects than whole foods.

These latest findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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