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Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Dec;68(6 Suppl):1437S-1443S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/68.6.1437S.

Soy intake and risk of breast cancer in Asians and Asian Americans.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90033-0800, USA.


Evidence from case-control studies suggests, although not entirely consistently, that soy intake may protect against breast cancer. The designs and findings of studies conducted in Asian women living in Japan, Singapore, China, and the United States are reviewed. Because of the considerably higher intake of soy by native Asians than by Asian Americans living in California and Hawaii, these studies investigated different segments of the dose-response relation between soy intake and breast cancer risk. Data are not sufficient to determine the amount or frequency of soy intake effective in protecting against breast cancer. Of concern is that soy intake may be homogeneously high in Asia, making it difficult to identify differences in breast cancer risk between high and moderate daily consumers. In studies conducted in Asian Americans, it is difficult to be certain that soy intake is not a marker of other factors related to Western lifestyle that are causally associated with risk of breast cancer. Additional studies assessing the role of soy and breast cancer are needed. These studies should assess intake of all food sources of soy, considering portion size as well as other dietary and nondietary factors that may confound the soy-breast cancer association. A better understanding of the mechanisms whereby soy intake may influence the risk of breast cancer is also needed. Dietary intervention studies with soy will provide information on the acute effects of soy on endogenous hormone concentrations. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies are necessary to investigate the longer-term relations between hormone concentrations and soy intake in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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