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Avoid the Soy

Posted 9/9/2014

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  It is rare for me to go out on a limb with a strongly expressed opinion about something that isn't solid information. In this case, however, it is easy. The benefit or danger (depends whom you ask or what you read) about soy has been debated and confusing. Traditionally, the thought has been that soy, because it is a plant estrogen, might be a bad idea for women with ER positive tumors. More recently, that concern has been rejected and women have been told to avoid soy supplements (meaning large quantities), but not to worry about moderate consumption. That has again been called into question.

  This small study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that soy may encourage cancer growth. To be clear: this is a small, single study, but it does not seem worth the risk to ignore it. We are always looking for things that we can't do to help ourselves, and avoiding soy is a pretty easy one.

  From comes this report:

Eating Soy May Turn on Genes Linked to Cancer Growth

Soybeans are the most widely used, least expensive, and least caloric way to get large amounts of protein. You can eat soybeans in many forms, including tofu, the beans themselves (also called edamame), soy milk, miso, and soy powder.
Soy foods have a lot of isoflavones, which are weak estrogen-like compounds found in plants. Because estrogen can promote the development, growth, and spread of breast cancers, doctors have worried that eating a lot of soy foods or soy isoflavones (which can be taken as a dietary supplement) might worsen the prognosis of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
While past research results have been mixed, a small study done by researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College suggests that for some women adding a medium amount of soy to their diets turns on genes that can cause cancer to grow.
The research was published in the Sept. 4, 2014 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Read the
abstract of “The Effects of Soy Supplementation on Gene Expression in Breast Cancer: A Randomized Placebo- Controlled Study.”

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