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Cathy Wong, ND

Soy May Benefit Breast Cancer Patients

By December 29, 2009

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For women with breast cancer, a high intake of soy foods may be linked to a lower risk of death. That's the key finding of a recent study of female breast cancer survivors in China.

For the study, researchers focused on 5,042 women, all of whom were diagnosed with breast cancer between March 2002 and April 2006. At a median follow-up of about 3.9 years, 444 total deaths and 534 recurrences or breast-cancer-related deaths were documented.

Analyzing data on the participants, the research team found that patients with the highest intake of soy protein had a 29 percent lower risk of death during the study period, and a 32 percent lower risk of breast cancer recurrence (compared to patients with the lowest intake of soy protein). The study didn't look at fermented vs. unfermented soy or note whether the soy used was organic or non-GMO.

Soy foods contain isoflavones, estrogen-like compounds thought to offer various health benefits. Isoflavones are also found in the herbs kudzu and red clover.

December 30, 2009 at 12:28 pm
(1) Jim says:

I’m no expert on Soy or Breast cancer, but there are many people that feel Soy products are turning out to be harmful. Whether it’s a GMO, Organic or just mass production issue, I don’t know.
Over the ages various cultures and Countries had their sources of fermented foods to add to the meal. Koreans had Kim Chee, Germans have sauerkraut and these fermented foods aided digestion in a probiotic way by introducing beneficial bacteria and acidity levels. One reason sausage & sauerkraut went together.
The study may be looking at the Soy as being the reason for lowering the death rates, where as, maybe the increase in protein or some other factor was a part not sited.
My late sister in-law had and beat cancer and then her doctor said she could go ahead and get pregnant. The rise in estrogen was reasoned to be a cause in her cancer returning. She died within a year or so after giving birth. So the estrogen and Soy may not be a good combination.
Again, I’m no expert and just putting this out as I have heard and interpreted the information.

December 31, 2009 at 10:34 pm
(2) Jacqueline says:

Here are two articles that are good at explaining both the health benefits of soy and a bit more on the soy controversy (from WOmen to Women):
Nutritional and health benefits of soy — what’s in a bean?

Update on the soy controversy

April 2, 2010 at 11:22 am
(3) Norma Jean says:

It is the method of soy production and extraction. Not all soy products are good for you. You need to investigate the methods used for the end product. I know of one company that uses cold processing for their products. We have used soy products for years, 39 to be exact. A diet high in sugar content and salt use can cause more damage than if one was to use soy products

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