Soyfoods are Protective Against Breast Cancer

Madison WI , June 7, 2016— A study from Shanghai involving more than 70,000 healthy women shows that consuming soyfoods reduces risk of breast cancer. The study is good news for Western women and girls because they, too, can derive health benefits and reduce their risk by starting to incorporate higher amounts of soyfoods into their diets.

After following 70,000 study participants for more than 13 years, the Shanghai study found that 1,034 participants developed breast cancer. Here are some details from the study.

• Consuming approximately one-and-a-half servings of soyfoods per day during adolescence was associated with a nearly 50 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer before menopause.

• Consuming approximately two servings of soyfoods per day during adulthood was associated with a one-third reduction in the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

• Consuming soyfoods early in life was not protective against breast cancer after menopause. The investigators who conducted the study reasoned that the protective effects of consuming soy early in life are fully present during the premenopausal period, so there is no further protection against breast cancer after menopause.

The study from Shanghai is relevant for American women—whose diets have not traditionally included soy— because adult soy intake was protective against breast cancer only among women who consumed little soy when they were young. By doing so now, women can reduce their risk. Also, young girls who consume soy will significantly reduce their risk later in life. Current U.S. statistics show that about one in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

The Soyfoods Council reminds you that one serving of soyfoods—including soymilk and edamame—provides approximately 7 to 15 grams of high-quality plant-based protein. Unlike many commonly consumed protein-rich foods, soyfoods are also cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.

For more information about current research studies about soyfoods and your health, visit the Soyfoods Council website at The Soyfoods Council offers easy-to-understand health and nutrition information, plus cooking tips and recipes featuring soyfoods. You’ll also find a wide variety of kid-pleasing snacks.