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Role of Soy & Cancer in Women

Wednesday, March 07, 2012
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The role of soy in cancer prevention, treatment or increased incidence of cancer in women is not yet clear. Soy contains isoflavones such as genistein and diadzein a group of phytoestrogens that have protective effects against cancer in women. However the data from epidemiological studies is inconclusive.



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03 August, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar For some period now there has been widespread concern about the safety of soy food for women with breast cancer. Soy foods contain large amounts of isoflavones that are known to bind to estrogen receptors and have both estrogen-like and anti-estrogenic effects. Researchers assessed the effect of intake of soy isoflavones on 16,048 breast cancer survivors, who were diagnosed with cancer 13 months before the multi-institution collaborative study, the `After Breast Cancer Pooling Project.’ The results showed that "It may be beneficial for women to include soy food as part of a healthy diet, even if they have had breast cancer."

28 June, 2010 | Geetanjali | Reply

Geetanjali Dear Sonia
The proportion of wheat flour, soybeans and bengalgram is fine. Soybeans should be autoclaved or soaked and pressure cooked, and roasted or dried in sun and then ground before adding to wheat flour. This processing lowers the anti-nutritional components that inhibit absorption of nutrients and also prevents allergies in those who are prone to it. Soya granules, soy milk, or tofu are easier options to include soybeans in daily diet.

Geetanjali KelKar,PhD
Nutrition Vista

28 June, 2010 | Sonia | Reply

Sonia It is usually advised by dietitians to eat multigrain flour instead of just wheat flour. So I mix soy flour and bengal gram flour to wheat flour (1:1:3 respectively) to get a healthy mix of grains. Is it ok to continue with that?

I have read that processed form of soy like tofu or soy milk are better options as compared to just soy flour added to wheat flour but my family does not enjoy eating these form of soy much. Please help.

26 June, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Soy is one of those wonder foods that contains protein of high biological value, its also high in fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, calcium and magnesium. Consuming about 25 grams of soy per day in the form of soy milk, soy yogurt, miso, tofu, tempeh does deliver some health benefits.

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

26 June, 2010 | Richa | Reply

Richa I agree with Shakina, like every other food stuff, soy should also be taken in moderation as a part of healthy balanced diet. Excess of anything may be harmful. Also, processed soy has more health benefits as compared to unprocessed one.

26 June, 2010 | Geetanjali | Reply

Geetanjali Soy is a popular health food. Its common these days to add soybeans to the wheat flour that is used for making chapatti. But this method is not effective, since soybeans contain anti-nutritional factors like saponins, trypsin inhibitors that lower the benefits of soy. Consuming it in the processed form as soy milk, tofu lowers the anti-nutritional components and improves the bioavailbility of soy proteins.

Geetanjali Kelkar
Nutriiton Vista

25 June, 2010 | Shakina | Reply

Shakina I personally think that by taking a small amount of soy that is processed well, including fermentation like what is seen in Oriental diets, will positively benefit without any causing ill effects as seen in the West, where Soy is eaten in many forms and in excess. Moderation is th ekeyto everything.

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Diet & Nutrition, Cancer Management, Cancer Prevention, Healthy Foods, Iron, Lung Cancer, Nutrition, Oral Cancer, Women's Health


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