Better Nutrition

Phytoestro­gens and Soy: the Debate

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Phytoestro­gens are compounds that have a mild estrogenic eff ect and are found in whole grains, nuts, and seeds, as well as many other botanicals, fruits, and vegetables. These foods are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer as well as reduced cancer recurrence.

The controvers­y becomes heated in the debate over soy- containing foods. This issue is complex, with some studies showing that eating soy early in life can reduce breast cancer risk. On the other hand, consumptio­n of concentrat­ed soy extracts showed increased proliferat­ion of breast cancer cells. Finally, other studies show a protective or neutral eff ect from whole soy foods.

My recommenda­tion for soy is to eat whole soy foods in moderation— no more than a few servings per week, preferably fermented soy foods such as miso or tempeh. Avoid soy protein isolates and supplement­s containing concentrat­ed soy isofl avones.

 ??  ?? Eat soy in moderation— no more than a few times per week, preferably fermented soy such as miso or tempeh.
Eat soy in moderation— no more than a few times per week, preferably fermented soy such as miso or tempeh.

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