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  • Writer's pictureEmily Sicinski, MS, RDN, CDN

Does Consumption of Soy Cause Cancer?

There are conflicting opinions about soy and its impact on our health. Periodically, a new study comes out suggesting a possible link between soy and cancer. But how could a food with such health benefits possibly be dangerous? In this blog post, I plan to discuss all things soy and why you don’t have to worry about eating it as much as you may have thought.

Soy is a plant-based food eaten in many forms, including tofu, tempeh, edamame, miso, and soymilk. It is a source of protein, fiber, and isoflavones (an estrogen-like substance that has been studied in the prevention of cancer, hot flashes during menopause, and osteoporosis). Because isoflavones act similarly to estrogen, which has been found to increase the risk of breast cancer in high amounts, it has been suspected that isoflavones may also increase our cancer risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, food sources of soy do not have high enough levels of isoflavones to pose a risk to our

health. Also, it is important to note that studies which show a positive correlation between isoflavone intake and cancer risk are performed in rats. Rodents don’t process isoflavones the same way humans do, and when the same research is conducted in humans, it does not yield the same results.

So what is the takeaway from this blog post, you ask? Eat your soy in peace, everyone! A lifelong diet rich in soy has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer development in women, and when soy is chosen over other less-healthy meats like animal fats or red and processed meats, it can even help reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.

Until next time!

  • Emily

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