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Nov 25, 2013

Soy Consumption and Cancer Prevention

Eating soy could both prevent and alter the disease course of lung cancer in women.

One component of cancer recovery is lifestyle- and that includes diet. According to a study conducted in China, women that consume soy before a lung cancer diagnosis may be positively affected. This longitudinal study observed increased mortality rates (81%) among the women in the 10th percentile of soy consumption compared to their peers. As the 50th percentile had the lowest mortality rates, the 90th percentile of soy consumption, in contrast, had an 11 % increase in mortality rates. This suggests a moderate consumption of plant derived soy foods is optimal for mortality prevention in women.

This experiment controlled for stages of cancer development and tumor size. It also included an sum of individual’s daily soy intake from soy foods such as tofu, soy sprouts, fresh green soy beans, soy milk, and other soy products. A mean intake of 18.0 g/day for soy food and 8.8 g/day for soy protein was concluded. The average age of when women’s cancer diagnosis occurred was 66.3 y/o. The author notes that soy intake had not correlation with patient characteristics such as age at diagnosis, smoking, obesity, family history of lung cancer, tumor stage, treatment regimens, or time between baseline dietary assessment and disease diagnosis.

What makes plant-derived soy to be beneficial is the estrogen content in soy foods. On a molecular level, estrogen is produced naturally by the female body as a sex hormone. When plant-derived soy is consumed, it acts as a selective binding agent to this. Consequently, this research suggests that eating soy could both prevent lung cancer among women along with alter the disease course during treatment.

For more information on this study please visit:

J Clin Oncol. Published online March 25, 2013. Abstract