Soy Intake in Childhood Reduces Breast Cancer Risk Later in Life

The Physicians Committee

Soy Intake in Childhood Reduces Breast Cancer Risk Later in Life

March 26, 2009

A new study looking at more than 1,500 Asian-American women living in California and Hawaii showed that those with the highest intake of soy during childhood (younger than 12 years old) had a 60 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Regular soy consumption in adolescence (12 to 19 years old) and adulthood (20 years old and older) also had a protective effect but with 20 and 25 percent reductions in risk, respectively.1

Prior studies have shown similar protective effects of soy consumption before adulthood.2,3,4

1. Korde LA, Wu AH, Fears T, et al. Childhood soy intake and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009;18:OF1-OF10.

2. Shu XO, Jin F, Dai Q, et al. Soyfood intake during adolescence and subsequent risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001;10:483-488.

3. Wu AH, Wan P, Hankin J, Tseng CC, Yu MC, Pike MC. Adolescent and adult soy intake and risk of breast cancer in Asian-Americans. Carcinogenesis. 2002;23:1491-1496.

4. Thanos J, Cotterchio M, Boucher BA, Kreiger N, Thompson LU. Adolescent dietary phytoestrogen intake and breast cancer risk (Canada). Cancer Causes Control. 2006;17:1253-1261.

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