Increased consumption of diets high in soy foods may cut down the risk of developing breast cancer in adolescent and premenopausal Chinese females.

This study examined the association between the consumption of soy foods and the incidence of breast cancer among adolescent and adult females in China. Using validated food frequency questionnaires, researchers assessed the soy protein and isoflavone intakes of 73,223 Chinese women recruited from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. The breast cancer hazard ratio was also measured in all the participants in this study.

Researchers observed a low incidence of breast cancer among adolescents and premenopausal women whose diets are rich in soy foods, such as isoflavones and soy proteins. Generous intake of soy foods was found to have no significant effect on breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women in this study. The findings of this study support the hypothesis that high consumption of diets high in soy foods may confer significant protection against the development of breast cancer in Asian women who have not yet attain menopause.