Tongues have been wagging a lot about soy isoflavones (plant-based compounds with estrogen-like properties) with the most disturbing reports linking high doses to genetic damage and stimulation of estrogen receptors to promote breast cancer.
So, do you need to be worried if your current menopause diet includes lots of soy? Evidently, the answer is NO!
According to a newly published study in the Menopause Journal, unconjugated forms of soy isoflavones are safe and well tolerated at daily doses as high as 900 mg/day. (Unconjugated forms are more readily absorbed into the bloodstream.)
In this study, researchers administered soy isoflavones or placebo to 30 postmenopausal women for 84 days. The goals of the study were to measure DNA damage, cell death and any changes that would indicate that estrogen was stimulated (which might lead to tumor growth). The researchers found no indication that high (900 mg) daily doses of soy caused DNA damage, increased cell death or affected estrogen. What's more, any side effects (ocurring in only 1 woman) were mild or moderate in severity.
Granted, the study population is quite small and more data are needed to confirm these findings. Neverthless, the researchers do conclude that despite the considerable debate over the negative, estrogen-related effects of soy isoflavones, findings suggest only minimal effects.
If you are currently using soy isoflavones as a strategy to combat vasomotors symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, eat with ease. It appears that you are not increasing your breast cancer risk. Nevertheless, as my grandmother used to say "everything in moderation."
[crossposted at flashfree.wordpress.com]
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