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Soy consumption may reduce cancer risk

February 5, 2009 by  

Eating more soy can have health benefitsScientists have discovered new health benefits from soyfood consumption in older women.

A group of researchers from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine believe that consumption of soy products may lower the risk of colorectal cancer in women between the ages of 40 and 70.

Specifically, they found that in the group of women they followed over an average of 6.4 years, those who consumed at least 10 grams of soy protein a day were 33 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who consumed less than that amount.

"Research this comprehensive demonstrates how important it is for baby boomer and older women to add soy to their daily diet," says Dr Lisa Kelly of the United Soybean Board. "[T]he study’s curly recommended serving is a simple and affordable nutritional step towards everyday wellness."

Soy is known for its nutritional value, containing high-quality protein, relatively little saturated fat and zero grams of trans fats. Soy protein may also lower blood cholesterol levels.

According to the National Cancer Institute, around 71,560 American women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2008.

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  • Bob Livingston

    I have read a lot about soy, and all I have ever found is that soy is bad for our health. I am a bit suspicious that people who promote soy consumption may be promoting soy pharma.

    • Steven Gregorich

      Soy should never be consumed! Soy depresses the thyroid, this alone should deter anyone from ever eating it. The problem is you already consume some and probably don’t even know it. Read the labels folks. Visit the Weston Price foundation, tons of information on soy and other things you should avoid, like polyunsaturate oils.

  • Florida Girl

    Soy is one of those highly allergic substances that most people don’t know they are allergic to. I have personal experience… in an effort to be more healthy, I decided to eliminate meat and upped my soy consumption. Within the space of 3 months (of eating soy products daily) I gained 20 pounds and have never felt worse in my life. I was having itchy hives daily as well. After discovering the little known truth about soy I stopped eating it and the hives disappered almost immediately. I eventually started to feel better and the weight started coming off.

    I’ve also read reports of soy formula babies that go on to become obese adults with thyroid problems. Soy consumption is also linked to estrogen type cancers.

    Be very careful with this so called “health food.” Plus soy is hidden in everything. I’ve since had no problems with low levels of soy… but I will never eat another meat substitue, soy burger, veggie patty or energy bar again. And you can bet I won’t feed them to my children.

  • http://Yahoo Nancy

    Per my very wonderful, educated doctor he has recommended SOY MILK as a very, very good drink. My cholesterol, heart etc…………. are in good shape and he has advised me to contiue drinking it.

    • Steven Gregorich

      Dear Nancy

      Your wonderfully educated doctor may or may not know anything about nutrition. Doctors receive very little education about nutrition while attending medical school, usually about 12 credit hours. So unless he attended courses after his normal medical training, he probably doesn’t know much. Please heed the warning from Florida Girl, soy is bad for you period. I’ll put my trust in the Weston Price Foundation and a wonderful woman by the name of Mary Enig, she is a lipid biochemist. Do yourself a favor and visit Weston Price and read about soy before it’s too late.

  • Mung

    I don’t know if soy is bad. Chinese and Japanese and monks eats them regularly. I read somewhere that says that if you eat too much of it, it may interfere with your thyroid hormone. Just make sure you don’t eat soy that has MSG, and perservatives and other junks add to it. Do not drink powder soy because it make people sick. I drink my freshly made soy milk 3-4 times per week, and I don’t get any allergy. But I get allergy when I buy soy milk . Do soak your soy bean and wash it several times before making milk. With any good food , too much can cause health problem.

  • Carsten

    It is true that soy (which comes from East Asia / China) has a long tradition ob being used there as a food stuff.
    In the US, even up to WWII, soy was considered unfit for human consumption.

    Where does this divergence come from?

    If one looks at how soy was traditionally used in Asia, you will find that FERMENTED soy products were consumed, but that unfermented soy products (including tofu and milk) were not used to a large extent.

    Fermentation is key to deactivating / converting those substances in soy that are not beneficial to humans.
    Next to the effect on the thyroid (lowering its activity), soy contains phytoestrogens, which are especially bad for infants (thus formula from soy should not be used), and other components inhibit the uptake of proteins in the digestive tract. So, even though it is an almost complete source of protein, used unfermented it is not beneficial.

    Fermented soy products inlude miso and tempeh.

    The poster above is correct, anyone using unfermented soy, should read the information at the Weston Price website. In addition, at , Dr. Mercola has a very informative video about soy. Find via the search function there.

    While at it, you may want to read up on soy, and other seed oils as well, as they are mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, which should also be avoided.

    This study only points to a correlation, but has no definite answer as to the, if any, biochemichal processes involved. I would not overrate at this point. Could the soy-consumers in this study have had other lifestyle habits, that are at work here?
    The problems with soy pointed out above, are not just the result of correlation studies, but of investigating the actual biochemistry of the substances in the human body, thus should be weighted more heavily, than the study of the article.

  • Ellie

    Most soy on the market is genetically modified, and is one of the highest pesticide-laden crops on the market…how could it possibly be healthy?

  • John Galt

    Soy is healthy for you BUT it has to be the fermented kind like they use in Japan and other Asian countries there is a huge difference in the soy sold here in the U.S and soy produced in the Asian countries .Japan has the lowest rates of breast cancer and protsate cancer in the world not to mention the longest life span in the world and they are the biggest soy consumers .So to me fermented soy is a healthy addition to the diet as well as sea vegetables that are high in natural iodine.Hope that helps Have a great day!

  • Thresetky

    Soy actually CAUSES thyroid and pancreatic cancers, as well al as a number of other serious ailments. It is not fit for human consumption! I don’t even feed it to my pets! It causes learning disabilities in children, and boys fed soy formula & school lunch (which is full of soy protein isolate) tend to have low testosterone. It also causes asthma. Soy is bad:(

  • Cheryl

    This country has to get off it’s soy kick. This all began when some people saw that Japan had a low rate of breast cancer and they thought the soy was some kind of majic bullet. What they didn’t look at was the high rates of ovarian, uterian, and cervical cancers; all hormone related cancers! Also, soy is one of the most pesticide heavy crops in the world. Infants fed soy formula battle obesity from a young age, men find out that being fed large amounts of soy all their life causes fertility problems, women and children are at risk for thyroid problems; and it goes on from there. BAN SOY!


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