Compounds from soy, other plants improve breast cancer survival rates

Compounds from soy, other plants improve breast cancer survival rates

Don’t forget to eat your vegetables. And your tofu. Oh, and drink your soy milk.

Whether it’s in its humble bean form, disguised as a meat alternative, or serving as a dairy substitute, soy continues to wow with its health benefits.

A recent analysis looked at how soybeans, cruciferous vegetables, green tea and lignans [LIG-nans] — compounds found in many plants, nuts and seeds.

The scientists specifically looked at how those foods and compounds impact breast cancer recurrence and mortality.

In the analysis, soy isoflavones [i-so-flave-ins] were associated with a 26% reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Researchers found that the greatest risk reduction was observed when consuming 60 milligrams — that’s two to three servings — of soy per day. One serving of soy is equal to one cup of soy milk, three ounces of tofu or a half-cup of cooked soybeans.

While soy made an impressive showing, a compound metabolized from lignans reduced the risk of breast cancer-specific mortality by 28%. The compound, known as enterolactone [enter-a-lack-tone], also reduced the risk of death from any cause by 31%. The effect of soy on mortality risk was not statistically significant.

The optimal dose of lignans is unknown as they are metabolized at different rates, depending on an individual’s unique gut microbiome.

Scientists noted that the foods studied in their analysis should not be considered alternatives to breast cancer treatment. The analysis illustrates the health benefits of the compounds studied while demonstrating the need for more research.

In the meantime, breast cancer survivors can rejoice. And maybe at mealtime, raise a glass — of veggie juice.


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