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The latest on soy and breast cancer

The latest on soy and breast cancer

"Whether lifestyle factors can improve survival after diagnosis is an important question for women diagnosed with this more aggressive type of breast cancer", said Zhang. Using a technique that relates the dietary habits and inflammatory markers in the blood, researchers have given to each participant a score corresponding to the extent that the diet promote the manifestation of inflammation.

But now, a new study suggests that, at least for some types of the disease, eating soy products may actually lead to a reduced risk of breast cancer, which impacts about 220,000 American women and about 2,000 American men each year. After nine years, those women who consumed high amounts of isoflavones had a risk lower by 21 percent of dying than those who consumed lower amounts or no amounts at all. This analysis found that those women with the highest scores were 41 percent more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest scores. An adolescent and early adulthood dietary pattern associated with inflammation and the incidence of breast cancer.

Previous research has suggested that the consumption of soy products may increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Although the traditional Mediterranean diet involves moderate consumption of alcohol, in this study it was excluded from the criteria, as it is a known risk factor for breast cancer and is linked to 12,000 cases annually.

The study, led by nutrition and cancer epidemiologist Fang Fang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, was published March 6 in Cancer.

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"Epidemiological analyses in East Asian women with breast cancer found links between higher isoflavone intake and reduced mortality", said Zhang. With breast cancer being so common in the United Kingdom, prevention is key if we want to see a decrease in the number of women developing the disease.

While the study categorized women in the highest quartile as those who consumed 1.5 milligrams or more of isoflavone per day-equivalent to a few dried soybeans-the authors caution that individuals tend to underestimate their food intake when filling out questionnaires. However, high amounts of isoflavone did not associate with higher mortality in women who did receive hormonal therapy.

The cancer is more likely to prove fatal than other types.

Some studies have linked the consumption of soy products with breast cancer.

Following a Mediterranean diet only had a weak non-significant effect on the risk of hormone-sensitive ER-positive breast cancer, the study found.

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