Soy is one of the only plant-based food sources of complete protein. Soy is rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium. More recently, processed soy protein has been added to a variety of foods, such as frozen meals, soups, protein powder drinks, and snack bars. However, isoflavones bind to estrogen receptors differently and function differently than estrogen. Studies of pre- and post-menopausal women suggest soy isoflavones may have a protective effect against breast cancer. F, et al looked at more than 6, American and Canadian women with breast cancer.
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Medically reviewed by Wendy Y. Is there a link between soy and an increased risk of breast cancer? While laboratory studies on soy compounds in isolation have sparked questions about a possible connection, studies of breast cancer patients in China and Japan have not shown any increased breast cancer risk resulting from soy consumption.
Studies show that a lifelong diet rich in soy foods reduces the risk of breast cancer in women. This protective effect is less dramatic for women who eat less soy or who start eating soy later in life. Soy contains protein, isoflavones and fiber, all of which provide health benefits.