Including soy in diet from teenage years could offer best chance of protection
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HONOLULU, Dec. 17 - A study of 120 Asian women conducted by scientists at the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., offers more evidence that a long-term diet rich in soy can be linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer - as much as a 50 percent in some cases - according to research presented here today during the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies.
The weeklong scientific meeting, held once every five years, is hosted by the American Chemical Society, in conjunction with its counterparts in Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.
The researchers measured isoflavone levels in the urine of women from Shanghai, China, to determine how much soy they consumed. Isoflavones are water-soluble compounds that are particularly abundant in soy, but only occur in trace amounts in other plants. This makes them excellent biomarkers for measuring soy consumption.
Women with the highest isoflavone levels "experienced a 50 percent decrease in risk to develop breast cancer" compared to those with the lowest levels, according to Adrian Franke, Ph.D., a professor at the Cancer Research Center. Franke and Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at Vanderbilt's Medical Center, were the lead researchers for the study.
The study appears to underscore the need for women to include soy in their diet consistently, beginning as early as their teenage years.
Based on the pilot data, Franke feels that a diet that includes routine and long-term use of soy is key to reducing the risk of cancer. Asked if middle-aged people could reduce their chances of getting cancer by adding soy to their diet, he said, "It m
Contact: Charmayne Marsh
American Chemical Society