photo credit: John Loo

Findings from a Chinese study indicate that soy and soy based products may reduce the risk of death and breast cancer recurrence.

The study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated that women with the highest intake of soy protein had 29 percent lower risk of death, and a 32 percent lower risk of breast cancer. 

A natural alternative to hormone-replacement therapy

This is yet another piece of data that indicates that soy, and the isoflavones it contains, can improve health.  Soy isoflavones are an estrogen-like compound that is currently used as a way to reduce symptoms of menopause and as a natural alternative to hormone-replacement therapy.

You’ve probably heard conflicting reports about the benefits of soy, including some studies that showed an increase in breast cancer cells in mice stimulated by soy isoflavones.

This Chinese study, however, included data from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, and included a population-based study of 5,042 female breast cancer survivors.  Their ages ranged from 20 to 75.

The researchers noted that the reductions in both mortality and breast cancer recurrences included soy protein intake of up to a level of 11 grams per day.  Beyond that, no significant reductions were noted.

Recommendations from the naturopathic doctor

The naturopathic doctor recommends Spectrasoy – that contains 45 grams of soy isoflavones per tablet.  The recommended dosage is 1-2 tabs/day.

If you’d rather have non-soy derived isoflavones, as well as additional help with the detoxification and elimination of potentially harmful estrogen metabolites, the naturopathic doctor recommends EstroFactors at 3-6 tablets daily in divided doses.