Soy Consumption May Reduce Cancer Risk

February 18/Pharma Marketletter -- A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explores how soy food consumption may lower the risk of colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, in post-menopausal women. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 71,560 American women were diagnosed with the fourth most common cancer in 2008.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine researchers found that women who consumed at least 10g of soy protein daily were one-third less likely to develop colorectal cancer in comparison to women who consumed little soy. This is the amount of soy protein available in approximately one serving of tofu (1/2 cup), roasted soy nuts (1/4 cup), edamame (1/2 cup) or soy breakfast patties (two patties).

The study observed soy intake in 68,412 women between the ages of 40 and 70, all free of cancer and diabetes prior to the initial screening. Researchers identified 321 colorectal cancer cases after participants were monitored for an average of 6.4 years. After adjusting for confounding factors, total soy food intake was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk among post-menopausal women.

"Research this comprehensive demonstrates how important it is for baby boomer and older women to add soy into their daily diet," said Lisa Kelly, for the United Soybean Board. "Furthermore, the study's recommended serving is a simple and affordable nutritional step towards everyday wellness," she noted.

From the February 16, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition