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Diet rich in soy protein lowers estrogens associated with breast cancer

y as "genetically susceptible," since Asian-American women have roughly the same breast cancer incidence as their white American neighbors.

Moreover, from the 1970s to the 1990s, breast cancer incidence more than doubled in Singapore and Japan. While earlier age at menarche, increasing numbers of women without children and delay in childbearing may offer a partial explanation, changes in other lifestyle practices are likely to play a role.

"Aside from answering some basic questions about soy consumption and breast cancer, this study may provide some insight into the underlying increase in breast cancer in Asia," said Dr. Stanczyk, a co-investigator and professor of research in obstetrics/gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

Study participants included 144 healthy postmenopausal Chinese women in Singapore currently enrolled in a population-based prospective investigation of diet and cancer risk. Information on diet and other lifestyle factors was obtained from a structured questionnaire administered through direct interviews.

Each of the 144 postmenopausal women, ranging in age from 50-74 years, was asked to estimate her usual eating frequencies and portion sizes for 165 food and beverage items consumed during a year. The questionnaire also requested information on demographics, lifetime use of tobacco, menstrual and reproductive history, medical history, and family history of cancer.

The Chinese population in Singapore (and elsewhere in Asia) is particularly suited for studies on the effects of soy-based foods because this food has been a staple in the traditional Asian diet. Six kinds of soy products (plain tofu, taupok, taukwa, foopei, foojook and tofu far) and soybean drink were included in the questionnaire.

In addition, as part of a Singapore Food Composition Database, levels of daidzein, genistein and glycitein were measured in the main types of soy foods consumed in Singapore, allowing the re
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Contact: Warren Froelich
froelich@aacr.org
215-440-9300
American Association for Cancer Research
23-Sep-2002


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