Soy Consumption Can Trigger Breast Cancer

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Breast CancerSoy and soy products  are being propagated worldwide by people in the health care set up and industry. This is true even while the jury is still out the highly debatable question “Can Soy consumption trigger breast cancer or does it in fact prevent cancer”. Fierce arguments are being put forth by both propagators and denouncers who are trying to point out the pros and cons of excessive soy and soy product consumption that has become the latest fad and highly adopted health practice.


 


Can Soy Consumption Cause Breast Cancer


Known to be immensely beneficial, a series of recent research conducted on both animal and human module has brought into light the that soy not only trigger breast cancer development but also inhibits action of certain cancer fighting drugs. Scientists attribute this phenomenon to the “isoflavones” present in soy.


 


What do Isoflavones do?


Isoflavones or phytoestrogens as the name suggests are estrogen-like compounds which have been promoted natural cure for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, which is why women all over have been consuming it with fervour. It can cause, contribute to or even accelerate the growth of cancer." 


It is known that increased exposure to estrogen predisposes women to breast cancer. Researchers claim that increased consumption of isoflavone-rich soy products would augment the effects of estrogen in the body and promote the developiment of breat cancer. It is said to increase breast cell proliferation, which is a widely accepted marker of breast cancer.

On the other hand, proponents of soy are of the opinion that isoflavones being a much weaker form of estrogen than estradiol (one of the main forms of estrogen produced by the body), would actually act as anti-estrogens in a feedback mechanism and block the effects of estradiol and, in turn, help prevent breast cancer. A study of Japanese adult women who consumed a lot of soy displayed a low incidence of breast cancer, but this could be related to confounding factors like healthier lifestyle, consumption of more fruits and vegetables, etc.


Another study conducted on laboratory animal based experiment also suggested that that phytoestrogens can disrupt the anti-tumor effect of some drugs used to treat breast cancer. Thus, medical practitioners now suggest women suffering from cancer to limit their soy consumption.


 


Can Soy be Consumed Regularly?


However, there is a huge difference between consumption of a healthy diet with tofu, soy butter, soy nuts, and soy burgers, etc, and intake of very high doses of phytoestrogen in dietary supplements which can be harmful. Although, a large number of agencies are now advising people to exercise caution while consuming soy but the evidence to prove or negate its cancer triggering effects is yet to be proven.


 


In this light, it would be wise not to excessively indulge nor shun away from soy and soy products, instead consume it in moderate amounts until we have conclusive evidence of it being a health promoting, non- carcinogenic agent.


 


Image credits: www.safeass.com

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