Soy & Breast Cancer

Soy & Breast Cancer
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Should women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer avoid soy foods?

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What about soy foods like tofu? Harmful? Harmless? Or helpful? Well, researchers took Chinese dwarf hamsters—can you imagine hurting a hamster? Well, they were fed the human equivalent of 300 cups of soy milk every day, and didn’t do so well.

But what does the human data show? From just the last couple months: eating soy can cut our diabetes risk in half, can help us double our weight loss, for those on a diet, and drop our bad cholesterol 14%. Even just adding soy milk to our diet can have a measurably powerful effect on reducing cardiovascular risk.

Let’s bump it up a notch: not just soy, but soy for women with active estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The phytoestrogens—the plant estrogens in soy—protect one’s breast tissue from the more powerful ovarian estrogens. And so, in terms of preventing breast cancer, the only question has been: does soy cut our risk by 30%, or cut our risk by 50%?

But what if you already have breast cancer that reacts to estrogen? Do we want to be consuming any kind of estrogenic-type compounds? This used to be one of the most controversial questions in the field of nutrition, until now.

Soy intake and breast cancer survival on Long Island. What do you think? Harmful? Harmless? Or helpful?

Well, researchers calculated all-cause mortality for those women diagnosed with breast cancer eating soy, or not eating soy. And those eating soy cut their risk of dying by 50%! So, not only does soy prevent breast cancer, but women with breast cancer eating soy live longer.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

What about soy foods like tofu? Harmful? Harmless? Or helpful? Well, researchers took Chinese dwarf hamsters—can you imagine hurting a hamster? Well, they were fed the human equivalent of 300 cups of soy milk every day, and didn’t do so well.

But what does the human data show? From just the last couple months: eating soy can cut our diabetes risk in half, can help us double our weight loss, for those on a diet, and drop our bad cholesterol 14%. Even just adding soy milk to our diet can have a measurably powerful effect on reducing cardiovascular risk.

Let’s bump it up a notch: not just soy, but soy for women with active estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The phytoestrogens—the plant estrogens in soy—protect one’s breast tissue from the more powerful ovarian estrogens. And so, in terms of preventing breast cancer, the only question has been: does soy cut our risk by 30%, or cut our risk by 50%?

But what if you already have breast cancer that reacts to estrogen? Do we want to be consuming any kind of estrogenic-type compounds? This used to be one of the most controversial questions in the field of nutrition, until now.

Soy intake and breast cancer survival on Long Island. What do you think? Harmful? Harmless? Or helpful?

Well, researchers calculated all-cause mortality for those women diagnosed with breast cancer eating soy, or not eating soy. And those eating soy cut their risk of dying by 50%! So, not only does soy prevent breast cancer, but women with breast cancer eating soy live longer.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

More on soy’s role in preventing breast cancer:

BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy
Breast Cancer Survival and Soy
GMO Soy and Breast Cancer

And check out my video on Soy and Breast Cancer Survival, and the accompanying blog post

Also see my associated blog posts for more context: Eating To Extend Our LifespanStool Size and Breast Cancer RiskBreast Cancer and Diet; and Soy and breast cancer: an update.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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