Can Eating Soy Prevent Breast Cancer?

Image Credit: Craig Dugas / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Can Eating Soy Prevent Breast Cancer?

In my video, Increased Lifespan From Beans, I discuss how beans may be the single most important dietary predictor of a long lifespan. But why do people who eat legumes such as beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils live longer? It may be because men and women who eat legumes have been shown to be lighter, have a slimmer waist, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugars, lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and better kidney function. Interestingly, bean intake is a better protector against mortality in women than in men. This may be because cancer—especially breast cancer—was the leading killer of women in the population studied.

Breast cancer survivors who eat soy foods, for example, have a significantly lower likelihood of cancer recurrence. A 2012 review looked at the three studies done to date on the link between soy and breast cancer survival. It showed that women who ate the most soy had a 29% lower risk of dying from breast cancer and a 36% lower risk of cancer recurrence. A fourth study has since been published that reaffirms these results. With an average intake of soy phytonutrients above 17 mg/day—the amount found in about a cup of soymilk—the mortality of breast cancer may be reduced by as much as 38%.

In my video, BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy, you can see a five-year survival curve for Chinese women with breast cancer. After two years, all of the breast cancer survivors that ate lots of soy were still alive, while only about two-thirds of the women who ate the least amount of soy were alive. After five years, 90% of the tofu lovers were still alive and kicking, whereas half of the tofu haters had kicked the bucket. There is a similar relationship between breast cancer survival and soy protein intake, as opposed to just soy phytonutrient intake.

How does soy so dramatically decrease cancer risk and improve survival? Soy may actually help turn back on women’s BRCA genes. BRCA is a so-called “caretaker gene,” an oncosuppressor (cancer-suppressing) gene responsible for DNA repair. Mutations in this gene can cause a rare form of hereditary breast cancer, popularized by Angelina Jolie’s public decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy. But only about 5% of breast cancers run in families; 95% of breast cancer victims have fully functional BRCA genes. So if their DNA repair mechanisms are intact, how did breast cancer form, grow, and spread? It does so by suppressing the expression of the gene through a process called methylation. The gene’s fine, but cancer found a way to turn it down or even off, potentially facilitating the metastatic spread of the tumor.

And that’s where soy may come in.

The reason soy intake is associated with increased survival and decreased cancer recurrence may be because the phytonutrients in soy turn back on the BRCA protection, removing the methyl straightjacket the tumor tried to place on it. To find out if this is indeed the case, a group of researchers put it to the test.

In the video mentioned earlier, BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy, you can see normal cells side-by-side with three different types of human breast cancer cells, specially stained so that the expression of BRCA genes shows up brown. Column 1 (far left) shows what fully functioning DNA repair looks like—what normal breast cells should look like—lots of brown, lots of BRCA expression. Column 2 shows raging breast cancer cells. If you add soy phytonutrients to the cancer (columns 3 and 4), the BRCA genes get turned back on and DNA repair appears to start ramping back up. Although this was at a pretty hefty dose (equivalent to about a cup of soybeans), the results suggest that treatment with soy phytonutrients might reverse DNA hypermethylation and restore the expression of the tumor suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Soy appears to also help with other breast cancer genes as well, and women at increased genetic risk of breast cancer may especially benefit from high soy intake.

No matter what genes we inherit, changes in diet can affect DNA expression at a genetic level. No matter what bad genetic cards we’ve been dealt, we can reshuffle the deck with diet. For examples, see:

I’ve previously covered the available science in Breast Cancer Survival and Soy. Other effects detailed in:

It may be possible to overdo it, though. See my video How Much Soy Is Too Much?

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 – 2015 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

65 responses to “Can Eating Soy Prevent Breast Cancer?

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  1. I love this information. But every woman I know who has had or has breast cancer is told to avoid all soy. Why is this considering the information that is out there? Another antiquated thought pattern from physicians not up on the latest data?

    1. Susan: I think you are correct concerning antiquated thought patterns. Below is “the story of soy research” as I understand it. I don’t know how accurate this is, but it is what I have gathered over time:

      At some point, there were some initial animal studies that suggested soy *might* be bad for humans. But those studies were not done with traditional soy foods. They were done with highly processed isolated soy protein. That’s like saying that beets are bad for you, while only testing sugar made from beets. There may have also been some very small number of human studies that also showed a negative effect of soy, but then again – those were done with isolated soy protein, not traditional soy foods like: edamame, tofu, tempeh, and soy milk.

      On the other hand, we have seen many studies on humans based on traditional soy foods that show a very positive health effect of soy. You can learn about some of those studies on this site:

      So, why all the bad press about soy? I think there are multiple reasons. Here are some of what I guess are the big ones:
      >>> 1) sensational story telling by the media is fun and profitable for them. They don’t care if they ultimately hurt people’s health with their poor “news” reporting. News is business in America. (I can’t speak for anywhere else.) The media is notorious for spreading misinformation about nutritional studies.
      >>> 2) Conspiracy theory: I haven’t checked it out myself, but I have read that some of the negative publicity about soy was funded by various meat industries. Whole soy foods could be seen as competition for meat.
      >>> 3) Non-organic soy in America is almost guaranteed to be GMO. Those people who think most GMO foods (as produced today) are likely to produce negative health outcomes end up equating soy with negative health outcomes. But note that organic soy would not be GMO…

      What we know is that most doctors get their nutrition information from the media just like most other people. So, it would make sense to me that many doctors still tell women not to eat soy even when the best science contradicts that idea.

      That’s just my take on it, but it does fit with what seems to be happening. And it’s so sad too. I have two female relatives with breast cancer who I believe were been given all the wrong information : “don’t eat soy” and “eat all the dairy, eggs, and meat you want”. Argh!!! But what can you do? As a lay person, I’m not very comfortable telling people to ignore what their doctor says.

      1. 100% this! From what I have gathered, this is exactly the reasoning that has led to soy getting sch a bad reputation. Thank you for detailing it all out. I can’t organize well enough to do so. But yes, soy is not at all bad like its made out to be. And watch out for the meat industry, next they’ll try to demonize other plant foods like nuts and berries.

      2. @Thea

        You are too humble, you are better formed in nutrition than any of those doctors (because as you know they not even study it in their careers) Not to mention you are far more up to date in this field, than everyone out there except for Dr. Greger. :)
        He keeps all of us up to date, I really think you should talk to your relatives with breast cancer and if possible, point them to this site too.

        Because if things end up the wrong way, you might be left with the feeling that you should have told them.

        1. Thule: Thank you for your kind reply.

          You are totally right. It is important to try. And I did. I just did so very gently without pushing. I sent some of Dr. Greger’s excellent blog posts about breast cancer and told them that I had a lot more information if they were interested, but if they were not, I wouldn’t send anything else. The response from one was crickets… (Ie, nothing.) The response from the other was the typical: “There’s so much conflicting information out there. No one knows what is true… I just have to do what my doctor says.” As frustrating as it was/is, I felt that I had to let it go or damage my relationship with my relatives.

          1. I’ve come across this attitude as well – it’s so frustrating. Like you, Thea, I just leave it. Hopefully I’ve planted a seed of information that might take root, if not, well, at least I know I tried…

          2. Sorry, I know the feeling too. :S

            Just now I sent more information to my mother regarding arthritis, I lost count on how many times I sent information, but despite she says that is going to change things, she only changes a few thing and I am still waiting for her to try turmeric. She cannot check the videos herself, because she doesn’t speak English, so I need to send a translated transcription about each thing.

            Very unfortunate the situation with your relatives, because they are gambling their lives there. I hope they beat the cancer anyway.

      3. Great reply Thea. Regarding the GMO issue, this one drives me insane. There is literally no non-organic/GMO tofu option available for purchase in any grocery store in my area. Even the commercial meat substitute products I’ve seen like pepperoni or sausages seem to always specifically state that they are non-GMO. It appears the GMO soy is being consumed nearly entirely by non-vegans in the form of animals who were fed it, or in [predominantly non-vegan] processed foods.

        The news bit also drives me crazy! There can be a thousand articles on why and how eggs are bad for you, and not a lick of coverage. Then one poorly designed egg industry funded study comes out and poof, news outlets eat it up because it’s “controversy”, and the public is left with the false notion that one study says this, another says that, it’s all contradictory, no way to know the truth, etc. Same with the recent high fat/low fat “research”. The news will never report on an uncontroversial, overwhelming convergence of evidence because where’s the excitement in that?

        1. b00mer: Thank you for your reply. I’m so often impressed with your responses, that praise from you is very meaningful.

          I so with you on your two points. They are big pet peeves of mine as well – especially the second one.

        2. This reminds me of the study released a couple weeks ago showing that a high carb diet was less effective in weight reduction than the low carb diet.

          The media jumped on this, but what was actually happening?
          Both groups never exceeded 16 grams of fiber. This says that the high carb group displaced their calories to a lot of processed junk food, as whole food carbohydrate sources are very high in fiber. Another problem is that the high carb group still had 28% of their calories from fat. Even more telling of the quality of both diets is that neither group had any significant change in cholesterol numbers. In addition, the participants were obese, and the low carb group ate 200 calories less hen the high carb group. Both groups were unhealthy, and we cannot really extrapolate that a low carb diet is healthier then a high carb diet when the high carb diet is getting most of its calories from processed junk.

          1. It was a silling study! But it and the media does such damage. My patients of course all read the news reports. And when I asked them if they thought 28% was low fat they couldn’t tell me. So how are they supposed to understand any of it other than the headlines they read. Travesty!

  2. Hi Doctor. Aren’t there certain body types that need meat to actually survive and function properly? I have heard this many times before, and had to finally get an answer! Thank you

    1. Jason: I have never seen any good science that says that there are “body types” that need meat. I think that idea comes from the infamous pheuso-science presented in the book about eating for your blood type. Dr. Greger has a video about that concept.

      What is true is that there are some people who are born with a genetic defect where their bodies do not produce one of the non-essential amino acids. In other words, while everyone else’s body can produce all the non-essential amino acides, there are some people who need to get one of those amino acids from animal foods or a pill because their body does not create the amino acid. However, this condition is very rare. If I remember correctly, it is estimated that 1 in 400,000 live births have this problem. And it is a genetic defect, not a “body type.” Dr. Greger has a video about this issue too. Dr. Greger show cased a case study on a boy in Israel who got sick when he went vegetarian. (I couldn’t find that video. Hopefully you can if you are interested.)

      I also saw a video on YouTube, (I can’t remember who it was), where the speaker speculated that some people who have over-eaten animal products for so long may have actually changed their bodies in such a way that the person is addicted to meat. They may experience withdrawals when they stop eating it. I don’t know that this has been studied in any way. I think it was just an idea. But it sparked my imagination. I could totally see how some people would think that they need meat in the same way that a heroine addict thinks they need it. Their bodies kind of do…

      Just some thoughts for you. Hope that helps.

    1. Hi Betsy there doesn’t appear to be any research out there to support that belief. But of course after taking your medication you should wait the recommended time before eating and of course before taking any iron or calcium supplement.

      1. Thanks for that comment…I will research further and see what I can find. I have just kind of assumed I knew the facts after being told that years ago but realize I should look at the research again.

        1. Before going WFPB my husband bought me a wonderful expresso machine and I was enjoying a morning latte’. Now that messed with my TSH. Had to give it up.

  3. I used to have soymilk since my 20’s. I’m a vegan, exercise everyday and never go to the doctor for any exam…. I just run far away from the doctors…. but some years ago I realizee my lefth breast was hurting. I stopped the soy milk and the pain went away… i thought was coincidence so I tried 3 more times and each time my left breast would hurt at the same spot… I stopped and I’m fine!! I don’t know what was that because I never consulted a doctor or did mamography… I’m 55 years old now, extremelly health and my % body fat is 8.2… I do compete in paddle board races and do very well. i think is my lifestile but if someone has any idea what was that, please tell me!!!

    1. Could it be in your head? There was a recent article about people who thought they were gluten intolerant, and experienced digestion problems. With a double-blind test, the researchers found that regardless of whether the subjects consumed gluten or not, they all reported the same digestion problems.

    2. Maybe a better way of wording your question,i.e. less dismissive and minimizing then could it be in your head. Im going to guess if you are resourceful enough to be reading this site then you’re an intelligent adult who knows her body and listened to it. For interests sake my HUSBAND had a fibroid cyst on his BREAST and quite a bit of pain and stopped all soy and reduced dairy and within a few weeks the pain was gone and after about 2 months the cyst or swelling was gone. Ive had a similar experience with soy and flax (a more positive experience) which has phytoestrogens. I was advised by my doctor that caffeine can also aggravate any type of breast swelling or pain from chest muscle constriction (as I found out).

      In our heads? As I said, always possible as there is always a mind body connection to health. Does this negate the possibility of a soy connection…my friend who is a breast cancer researcher says, no but we’re all entitled to our opinion. Research by nature is always in the process of being reviewed and either supported by new studies or not.

  4. thank you for your continued focus on cancer prevention, treatment, nutritional and “alternative” approaches we can take on our own. I will reiterate the questions below about conflicting information about soy – reputable sources in the alternative media has been reporting for years now, about contraindications for soy consumption and hormone-induced cancers. This was the basis for my complete elimination of soy several years ago, so obviously, in response to this article you have put together, I am now questioning this choice.

  5. Here’s a great page that discusses the anti-soy myths. I came upon it while trying to figure out where all these beliefs come from, and I found that all the anti-soy articles eventually point back to the Weston Price Foundation, if they mention any source at all. All of them! There’s no actual studies that show any of these negative things.

    What I found particularly odd is that the myth makers keep saying that people in Asia hardly consume any soy, and it’s almost all fermented. Coming from an Asian background, I knew that was clearly not true. Soy milk, tofu, edamame, etc. have been consumed for hundreds, even thousands of years by a huge amount of the world population and has not caused man boobs, etc. Obviously, it doesn’t inhibit fertility.

    1. Here is an article (also connected to WP) on the negative effects of soy although it does note that fermented soy can be beneficial which supports much of what I’ve heard in MSM (mainstream media and therefore filtered and skewed for easy assimilation and obviously profits) and in medical studies. As I mentioned above we have a good friend who researches breast cancer and has worked with some very respected and credible colleagues in that area. Her mother died of breast cancer (as did mine) and she has had her own scare (as have I) so she comes from a both a professional calling as well as personal. She practices staying open to wherever new or interesting info comes from and I respect that as many are not able to stay open and or respect others opinions or beliefs if it doesnt match with theirs. One thing we know for sure…there is still ALOT we dont know and we dont know what we dont know so better to stay open.

      I wish anyone dealing with growths in their breast (a GF currently is) and or breast cancer (man or woman) the very best in their journey and courage to do what THEY believe is right for their health and recovery.

      1. Ahh, forgot to include the link to the medical report. Well that’s what severe lack of sleep from prednisone gets you. Apologies, here it is… Read my above email to see context. Here is a good link on this site about stool size and breast cancer which others including my PCP found interesting and will be looking for future studies to support. In the meantime we all know good bowel/ colon health is REALLY important…right? Good potty habits people. Seriously I ended up with longterm issues including elongated colon/ bowel, diverticulitis, and pre-cancerous polyps in part Im sure from years of chronic constipation. Whatever we can do to prevent breast and other cancers along with being aware of new studies on foods like soy is good. Educate yourself, dont rely on others.

  6. Thank you, Dr. Greger and everyone on the team, as well as well-informed commentators who take the time to respond. What a fabulous site!

    The confusion that seems to pop up again and again about soy leads me to suggest a series of blogs and videos: How about gathering the topics that elicit the greatest confusion, blow-back (cheese and milk proteins), etc. and set the record straight, updating where possible? One we would like to see would be an update on quantities of iodine necessary when drinking daily, say, 30 oz of green drinks with 2 handsful of raw kale, 3 big leaves of raw collards, a ½ or more cup of raw red cabbage (+fruits). Our TSH has doubled in our year drinking these delicious smoothies. We eat some nori, and sprinkles of Dr. Brownstein’s Organic Kelp in the smoothies. But fearing an overdose, as per Dr. Greger’s warning video about Kelp, we seem to have underestimated our iodine needs. Kevin has gone to steaming the raw cruciferous ingredients, I am increasing my Kelp sprinkles instead, because I prefer the raw taste. How to judge?

    1. I read recently that the Japanese get an average of 7 mg of iodine a day, mostly from their sea vegetables and they seem not to suffer any harm from it.

    2. Gayle, your drink sounds amazing! I admire your commitment. We have a juicer and just got the Nutribullet. You’ve re-inspired me to take a friends advice and get back to my juices and smoothies to help my body. According to my friend who like you worked hard to get her PhD (women like you will rule the world one day), focused on breast cancer research for both personal and academic reasons, it may be hard to set the record straight on soy or get a consensus at this point as even researchers/ academics are divided on their opinion. As always you cant ignore the billion $$$ plus industry around products and supplements including soy so that will also fuel the one side of the argument. Being a high risk for breast cancer and having a friend currently waiting for surgery (fingers crossed benign) to remove a lump after a botched initial diagnosis process and my help to get her to a major medical center for a second opinion, Im taking the everything in moderation road and keeping things as close to nature and least processed as possible. I stay very tuned into my body’s rxn to what I expose it to and open to various sources of information (even ones I may not agree with to see all sides). After that as my husband said, at some point you have just live your life and enjoy it. Period. Speaking of which it’s a beautiful sunny day here so Im off to get some air.

  7. Dr. Greger,

    You oftentimes speak about how soy is a great product, and in the case of this article, how it can be beneficial to women in preventing breast cancer. However, there is much debate going on regarding how a diet high in soy is detrimental to the health of men (increased estrogen levels and other health damages). If you could clear this up for me, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

  8. I enjoy these articles and find the information to be so helpful. However, as a ‘breast cancer survivor’ (diagnosed last year and finished all treatments and ops for now), I found the doctors wording ‘kicked the bucket’ in reference to the women who died to be in such poor taste and quite disrespectful. Please choose your wording more carefully in future, especially when referring to people who unfortunately lost their battle.

    1. Sorry Cait but we are all in the same mortality boat. We are all bound to the same end. I applaud the Dr. for giving Mr. Death zero respect. As a survivor you know your fate.

      At some stage we all “Pop our cloggs, Meet our maker, throw off our mortal coil, push up daisies, go belly up and my personal favourite, Go to room temperature”

      Live long and prosper

    2. Hi Cait, I agree with what you’ve said. Not having been personally affected by breast cancer as of yet in this life, I didn’t take note of it. But reading it again, and imagining for a moment if I had lost someone I love to breast cancer, or being close to that myself, I can imagine how hurtful that would be. The Dr. has a sense of humor, and I think 99% of the time it’s a great quality that lends an engaging and amusing feel to the videos and articles. But sometimes you do get the odd unintentionally insensitive phrasing. I would imagine if he sees these comments he would take it to heart. Congratulations on your progress thus far, wishing you good health on your journey.

      1. Thank God for humor, without it we’d live in an even shittier, shit then
        I could imagine in this world, except for death would be better. Humor
        is often our only life boat for the many discriminated people-many of
        whom can’t even mention their grievances on a board like this one
        because it’s not PC or accepted like breast cancer is. I do feel for all
        people whom are harmed, often unnecessarily in many ways yet have no
        voice-Thank you God for humor I say.

        1. I could never believe that Dr. Greger meant any disrespect. The comment did strike a loud note with me upon first reading and my thought then was, Good for Dr. G. not being politically correct nor too respectful of death. Yet, I did imaging that some would feel pain at the comment–those who have not an iconoclastic attitude toward life and death. Given who I am, I liked the normalizing effect of the comment about death. I often talk about sexuality in dreams and waking life and have decided to do my part to de-mystify, de-mythologize, de-shhh it because the worst parts of sexuality (abuse, fear, inhibition, infidelity, and STDs come largely from the fact that we treat it with kid-gloves. Certainly not a position to everyone’s liking. So I am sorry that some feelings were hurt, but suggest that you think of Dr. Greger’s personality and work, and consider his likely effort to embolden readers in facing death.

        2. Humor is a wonderful thing in this world. So is empathy, kindness, and the ability to learn something new every day. No need to choose one over the other.

  9. I’m sure this is in the discussion below but I read that there was a difference between fermented soy products as the Japanese ingest and non-fermented as we typically intake in north america. The latter being not great for several reasons which unfortunately I can’t recount off the top of my head. In comparison we also take in way more soy than the Japanese diet as it is in many products and drinking soy milk would likely result in over consumption…. just a tidbit some may like to explore

    1. Hi Brad, you can see a guest’s post above, the idea that Asians are not consuming tofu or edamame is a myth. Personally I work with almost all Chinese and Indian colleagues, many of whom are not even vegetarian, and tofu as well as dishes made with soy sauce are consumed quite often at lunchtime. Most Asians I have met seem to have an inherent interest in health; they seem to have been raised in cultures that value traditional medicine (which is to a large extent nutritional medicine). With that said, they seem to consider unfermented soy a health food. My one Japanese colleague does use miso, but none of the Chinese seem to. I think the only use of tempeh I recall was by a Malaysian friend way back in school.

      Also of note, this site promotes a *whole foods* plant based diet, so the “many products” containing soy would for the most part not be included or promoted. The only soy consumed in a WFPB diet would then be the soy milk, tofu, edamame, tempeh, etc that is intentionally consumed; one could include these foods quite often and not be taking in more than the average Asian person.

  10. I just want to say that I’ve been loving the pictures lately. Whatever that tofu dish is, it looks delicious. And the baby with the beans was adorable.

  11. This is for those wondering if cooking some things is a good idea. Many so-called “anti-nutritional” factors in raw foods are proteins. They derive their biological activity from their 3 dimensional structure. For example trypsin inhibitors are chains of amino acids that have folded into a shape that fits into the active site of the digestive enzyme trypsin. While this site is blocked the enzyme is inactive and can’t digest food.

    If your raise the temperature of the inhibitor high enough (say during cooking) then it changes shape into a random coil or big big gob of goo and it loses its ability to inhibit trypsin. In fact trypsin can then turn the tables and break down the inhibitor!

    Without wishing to get too long winded, the same principle applies to many protein-based anti-nutrients. People are cautioned against eating raw egg because it contains a protein called avidin. It binds up the vitamin biotin so strongly it is not bio-available. Cooking unfolds the avidin rendering it harmless…but that is not a reason to eat eggs ever!!

    There are many examples so if you are hearing some conflicting truths, I would do some googling and try to determine if the thing that concerns you can be “fixed” by a little food processing.

    Also, I’ve got to add, beware. One person’s poison is another’s medicine. e.g/the medium chain sugars in soy are often listed as anti-nutritional factors. It comes down to whether you think passing gas vs. promoting good intestinal flora is anti-nutritional. Caveat Emptor as always.

    1. Hi Coacervate, you might find these videos
      discussing the evidence from cooked vs. raw broccoli []
      and [].

  12. doctor, please one short video of describing your opinion and research on calorie goals for weightloss, macro ratios and other variables for succesful long term weightloss. I have been following a vegan diet for quite some time. i watch all the videos on here all it says to avoid is meat dairy and eggs. but not really any comprehensive calories, macros and types of foods to eat. thanks if you could do a video.

    1. The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, Hardcover– September 16, 2014, $14.99 at the moment. Setting out the plan takes perhaps one third of the book, the rest is recipes, mostly by Chef Del Sroufe who did FOK-the Cookbook. I tend to think of chefs’ recipes as more than I want to get into, but those in this book are not too high-falutin’. It would be nice to have the first part of the book (the plan) as a separate booklet (about 150? pages), since there are so many vegan recipes available online now (not all necessarily healthy ones).

      Also, please see Toxin’s comment of 11 days ago / 9/22/2014 (I would prefer actual dates, as this site used to have), nearly at the end of the postings, to which is quite in line with the above book’s explication.

      1. The FOK Plan book is by Drs. Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman, who were also in the documentary and have been treating patients via whole food, plant-based diet for some years.

    2. One can eat nothing but potatoes for weeks upon months, it is reported, and be perfectly healthy. As filling as potatoes can be, it would perhaps be hard to eat enough of them not to lose weight, as they are within the mid-calorie + moderate exercise range mentioned in Toxin’s quote from Jeff Novick cited in my previous comment. Usually the recommendation, though, is to eat a fair variety of foods over, say, a week. The prescription for this sort of lifestyle ‘diet’ might be to eat all you want from the lower calorie per pound foods, and not so much from the the upper calorie per pound foods. And, as well as cutting out all animal products, cutting out all packaged processed foods. In other words haunt the produce aisles and the dried or canned beans and grains and frozen veggies aisles, and carefully scrutinize content labels on anything prepackaged / preassembled. Don’t buy the microwave steamable veggies loaded with butter sauce (animal product) and such.

  13. Dr Greger, Would you please revisit the topic of GMO and provide your follows with some facts that can be found in real research. I would also like to know if you personally purchase organic products. Thanks for your time and knowledge over the years.

    1. I find your request rather odd, since the whole raison d’etre of this site is to report on real research. Have you tried doing a search here on GMO? That will get you everthing up to now. I’m sure when Dr.G discovers something significant in the forthcoming literature on GMOs, he will report on it in due course.

  14. I am dismayed that no warning was given here related to GMO soy. Most recent stats that I could find show 60% of the world’s soy is now GMO, and 87% of US soy crops are GMO. The only long-term studies of GMO’s on rats was done by Gilles-Eric Seralini of France. The animals developed massive mammary tumors as well as liver and kidney damage. The researchers said 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group.

    1. Soy in the form of tofu or tempeh is very rarely genetically modified. In all of my area grocery stores, all tofu and tempeh are listed as organic, non-gmo certified, or both. Those eating whole foods plant based diets are most likely not going to encounter any GM soy.

    1. Take note, they are referring to soy protein isolate, not soy itself. Its a processed form of soy that is essentially pure protein. Soy protein isolate has a strong IGF-1 raising effect.

  15. The article I site below says researchers say that soy actually accelerates breast cancer rather than prevents it. It is a new study done I believe by Sloan Kettering and NIH?

  16. I really appreciate all this informations, in ways i cant even express, so first of all thank you!!

    but i have a very important question- in the studies done on woman with breast cancer was there a seperation done between hormone positive and hormone negative cancers? and were the tested woman on tamoxifen during the research?

    thank you

  17. In the relationship between high soy consumption and lower breast cancer rates, are there other aspects of the diet that could be co-variants, driving this relationship? For example, women who consume the most soy might also consume the least processed meat – so could decreased processed meat consumption be driving down breast cancer rates instead of increased soy consumption? Want to understand if soy should really be getting so much credit for this decreased disease incidence/ progression/ re-occurrence. Thank you, and thank you for this wonderful information resource!! – Susan

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