The Truth About Women & Soy – Latest Information


The truth about women & soy – latest information.  So far we’ve taken a look at the vast differences & benefits of soy.   We discussed GMO’s/GE and also key principals to follow to reap the amazing benefits of this food.  Now we need to get you up to date on the latest information pertaining to Women & Soy.  Its short and sweet & will cover three top issues that involve women.

Women / Breast Cancer & Soy Products

For more than 20 years the US National Cancer Institute and laboratories throughout the world have been rigorously investigating the role of soy in breast cancer prevention. However, in recent years, concerns have arisen that, because they contain isoflavones, soy foods may worsen the prognosis of women with a history of breast cancer and increase risk of breast cancer in women at high risk of developing this disease. These concerns are based on research in one particular type of mouse

In contrast to the animal research, human research is supportive not only of safety but also of potential benefit. For example, in clinical studies, when female subjects are given either soy foods or the isoflavones from soy foods, there is no effect on indicators of breast cancer risk, such as breast tissue density or breast cell proliferation.  In contrast to isoflavones, hormone therapy, which increases breast cancer risk, increases breast tissue density and breast cell proliferation.

Furthermore, recently published studies from China and the United States, show that soy consumption after a diagnosis of breast cancer reduces recurrence and improves survival.  Women in these studies reported their soy consumption and were followed for several years so investigators could determine whether during this time, soy consumers were more or less likely to have a recurrence or die from their disease. The benefits observed in these studies were associated with the consumption of one to two servings of soy foods per day. According to the investigators of the most recently published study “… clinicians no longer need to advise against soy consumption for women diagnosed with breast cancer.”  Nevertheless, it is advisable for women with a history of breast cancer to first discuss adding soy to their diet with their health care provider.

Finally, one advantage of consuming soy early in life may be protection against breast cancer. Epidemiologic studies show that consuming approximately one serving of soy per day during childhood and/or adolescence reduces breast cancer risk later in life by as much as 50 percent.

Women & Hot Flashes

The drop in estrogen levels that occurs in menopause is linked with the onset of hot flashes. The estrogen-like properties of isoflavones may be one reason why western women report having hot flashes to a much greater extent than women in Japan. More than 50 clinical trials have evaluated the effects of isoflavone-containing products on the alleviation of menopausal symptoms. The most recent analysis of this research, which includes 19 studies, shows very clearly that isoflavones are effective.  On average, isoflavones produce a 50% decrease in the frequency and severity of hot flashes. The amount of isoflavones found in two servings of traditional soy foods appears to be sufficient to produce this benefit.


Women & Osteoporosis

Because isoflavones exert estrogen-like effects under certain circumstances, scientists have been studying whether soy foods reduce risk of osteoporosis. Two important studies show that among Asian postmenopausal women, those who are in the upper quarter of soy intake are about one third less likely to suffer a fracture.  However, studies in which postmenopausal women have been administered soy foods, soy protein or isoflavone supplements have produced mixed results. Some studies show an improvement in bone mineral density and some don’t. Thus, more research in this area is needed before conclusions can be made. However, because some soy foods are good sources of calcium, and all soy products provide high-quality protein, which is important for strong bones, soy foods can play a beneficial role in diets aimed in promoting bone health regardless of the effects of isoflavones.

Our next article will round the topic out and give the Truth about Men & Soy……stay tuned.


Lynne is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and Therapeutic Massage and Ethics Educator with extensive study in preventative nutrition and physiology. For over 35 years, Lynne has helped thousands of people through consulting, seminars and writing.

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