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Soy reduces risk of breast cancer

Women who consume daily one portion soy, have 18 percent less chance of developing breast cancer.

This emerges from a survey of more than 35,000 Chinese women. This new study is part of the Singapore Chinese Health Study. At the start of the study the dietary habits of 35,303 women between the ages of 45 and 74 years old were recorded. The health of these women was followed for several years.

After more than 5 years breast cancer was diagnosed in 629 of these women. The researchers then examined whether there was a difference in the development of breast cancer in women who ate little or a lot of soy products. The analysis of the figures shows that women with the highest soy intake per day (expressed as intake of 10 or more mg isoflavones per 1,000 kcal - isoflavones are components which are naturally present in soybeans) had a lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were using less soy. A decline of as much as 18 percent of the risk of developing breast cancer was found. Especially women after menopause showed the greatest impact.
A quantity of 10 mg isoflavonen can already be found in a serving of tofu or 100 ml soy milk. So even for people who do not eat a lot soy, this amount can easily fit into their daily diet.

What we find in this scientific research on the relationship between soy intake and risk of developing breast cancer is that this positive effect especially applicable to women who from an early age to consume soy. In a typical Asian diet children start eating soy products at an early age.

Source: Wu AH, Koh WP, Wang R, Lee HP, Yu MC. Soy intake and breast cancer risk in Singapore Chinese Health Study. Br J Cancer 2008;99:196-200.

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