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More Evidence Soy Guards Against Breast Cancer


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More Evidence Soy Guards Against Breast Cancer

Mon Jul 8,10:45 AM ET

By Richard Woodman


LONDON (Reuters Health) - Women eating a diet rich in soya products are 60% less likely to have "high-risk" breast tissue than women with the least soya in their diet, scientists said on Saturday.



"Our findings considerably strengthen the hypothesis that soy consumption protects against breast cancer development," said researchers at the National University of Singapore, Cancer Research UK and the US National Cancer Institute.


Scientists have previously suggested that soya intake might contribute to the low rates of breast cancer in countries like China and Japan but research has proved inconclusive.


The latest research--reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention--combined data from two studies of Chinese women in Singapore.


The first study focused on women's eating habits, including their intake of soya, while the second used mammograms to classify women according to the density of their breast tissue.


After identifying 406 women who took part in both studies and adjusting for energy intake and other potential confounding factors, the scientists found that soy protein intake was inversely related to high-risk tissue.


Other research has shown that dense tissue is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.


"This research shows for the first time how the amount of soya a woman eats may have an effect on breast tissue and in turn may potentially reduce her risk of breast cancer," Dr. Stephen Duffy of Cancer Research UK said in a statement


Soy is a rich source of plant oestrogens, which are known to protect against breast cancer in animals.


SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 2002;11.

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