RE: soy and estrogen
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM
I'm going to re-post from another thread on soy:
Soy is in the media a lot and the information can seem rather confusing. That's because research results are mixed on the issue of soy. However, most soy studies are done with megadosed soy extracts rather than natural soy foods.
The American Cancer Society states that traditional soy foods are safe for breast cancer survivors. There does not seem to be ANY evidence that consuming minimally processed soy foods poses any harm (soy milk, tofu, edamame or soy bean, miso, tempeh).
Recent studies show that soy food consumption during childhood is protective against cancer. In fact, this whole Western trend toward soy started because of the low incidence of breast cancer in countries where high amounts of soy are consumed. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at more than 5000 breast cancer survivors and found that those who consumed the most soy foods (again, minimally processed) had less risk of recurrence and death.
Ultimately, of course, soy beans are no more essential to the diet than say lima beans. If someone chooses not to consume soy in any form, then no harm done. I will always encourage, however, people to choose the whole foods option as opposed to the processed option of any food when given the choice.
You can also review this factsheet for more studies, http://www.pcrm.org/health/prevmed/pdfs/soy_and_your_health.pdf. I hope this helps.
Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education