Protective Against Breast Cancer
The American Institute for Cancer Research reviewed the latest scientific evidence on soy and cancer in 2014, and released a position statement (1) that soyfoods are not only safe but contain several key nutrients and phytochemicals studied for their cancer prevention properties. The American Cancer Society reiterates this statement and supports soyfood consumption.(2)
Women who eat soyfoods regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer compared to those who don’t. Researchers at the University of Southern California found (3) women averaging one cup of soymilk or about half a cup of tofu daily are 32% less likely to develop breast cancer and have a 29% decreased risk of death, compared with women who ate little or no soyfoods.
Eating soyfoods early in life may be one of the factors that explains why Asian women have lower breast cancer rates, as low as 1/5 that of Western women. (4) Early intake of soyfoods may promote healthy breast tissue development. (5)
AICR’s Latest Statement on Safety of Soy and Breast Cancer Risk
2. McCullough, Marji. The Bottom Line on Soy and Breast Cancer Risk. August 2, 2012. “Even though animal studies have shown mixed effects on breast cancer with soy supplements, studies in humans have not shown harm from eating soy foods. Moderate consumption of soy foods appears safe for both breast cancer survivors and the general population, and may even lower breast cancer risk. So, enjoy your occasional tofu stir-fry or tofu burger they are unlikely to increase your risk of breast cancer and, on balance, are some of the healthier foods you can eat!”
3. Wu AH, Yu MC, Tseng CC, Pike MC. Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer. 2008;98:9-14.
4. Lee SA, Shu XO, Li H, Yang G, Cai H, Wen W, Ji B-T, Gao J, Gao YT, Zheng W. Adolescent and adult soy food intake and breast cancer risk: results from the Shanghai Women?s Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1920?6.
5. Gilchrist JM, Moore MB, Andres A, Estroff JA, Badger TM. Ultrasonographic patterns of reproductive organs in infants fed soy formula: Comparisons to infants fed breast milk and milk formula. J Pediatrics. 2010;156(2):215-220.