Soy Might Indeed Be Healthy For Breast Cancer Women

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Soyfoods are some controversial foods, lately, as some reports emerged suggesting that soy is triggering breast cancer in lab mice subjects. Behind these notions, there is the theory that soyfoods contain a class of phytoestrogen compounds known as isoflavones. However, phytoestrogens are not similar to estrogens, so soy might indeed be healthy for breast cancer women, indicates Dr. Michael Greger on Care2.

“Unlike actual estrogen, soy phytoestrogens preferentially bind to and activate estrogen receptor beta. This distinction is important because the two types of receptors have different tissue distributions within the body and often function differently, and sometimes in opposite ways,” explains Dr. Greger in an article on Care2.

According to him, beta activation comes with an anti-estrogenic effect and inhibits the effects of actual estrogens, such as promoting the proliferation of breast cancer cell. In this regard, estradiol, the primary human estrogen, have opposite effects in comparison to those of the soy phytoestrogens.

Soy Might Indeed Be Healthy For Breast Cancer Women

According to previous studies, the main soy phytoestrogen, genistein, promotes breast cancer in lab mice. However, that is not applicable to humans since we are metabolizing the soy isoflavones differently. As reported by Dr. Greger, the mice with breast cancer in the previous studies boasted soy phytoestrogens levels by 58 times higher than usual. In humans, that would mean consuming 58 cups of soyfoods daily.

“At just a few servings of soy a day, with the excess beta activation, we would assume soy would actively help prevent breast cancer. And, indeed, soy intake during childhood, adolescence, and adult life were each associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer,” said Dr. Michael Greger. The researcher said that’s the reason why breast cancer rates in US women are higher than in Asian women who consume soy more frequently.

In conclusion, soy might indeed be healthy for breast cancer women as soyfoods consumption has been linked with both reduced mortality and reduced recurrence, which means increased lifespan and lower risks of cancer recurrence.