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Soy Isoflavones for Women's Health

Monday, 17 November 2008 19:42
In April and May (of 1998), newspaper headlines were buzzing with news of the latest cancer prevention pills. Two prescription drugs, tamoxifen and raloxifene, were found to reduce the risk of breast cancer. There were drawbacks to the pharmaceuticals, however, as there usually are: Tamoxifen increased the risk of endometrial cancer and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs), and raloxifene users were more likely to suffer from hot flashes and leg cramps.

Is there a safe and effective alternative for reducing the risk of breast cancer? According to a rapidly growing body of evidence, it may be eating soy foods, which are rich in the phytoestrogen isoflavone. Phytoestrogens are estrogenlike compounds found in plants; they have slight hormonal (and sometimes hormone-blocking) properties without being true steroid hormones. Eaten for more than 5,000 years in Asia, soy appears to reduce the risk of breast and other reproductive-organ cancers--and doesn't have the unwanted side effects or risks of drugs.

Jack Challem   Soy Isoflavones for Women's Health:   Is Soy a Viable Alternative to Traditional Estrogen Hormone Replacement?   Nutrition Science News 1998