If your answer to the above question is YES, then you have been misinformed. Below, is information intended to help clear up the confusion regarding whether soy is a “good” food or a “bad” food for you.
First of all, it is important to know the reason why women have been warned against using soy if they have breast cancer. It is a known fact that many cancers are estrogen fed. If a woman has an estrogen fed cancer, Tamoxifen is usually prescribed. The drug is intended to fit into the cell’s receptor sites where estrogen normally fits, to block out the body’s estrogen. (Estrogen causes the growth of cancer to accelerate.)
Since soy is a “phytoestrogen” food, it contains components that will also fit into the receptor sites on cells where estrogen would normally fit. Phytoestrogen foods are not estrogens, but rather contain molecules that the body uses to manufacture estrogens.
Now here is where the confusion comes in. Since soy is a “phytoestrogen” food many health care professionals have warned women not to eat it for fear that it will also cause an acceleration in the growth of breast cancer. However, the “missing link” of information is this ….. phytoestrogens are 1/1000th as strong as the body’s own estrogen.
Because phytoestrogens are so weak, but they fit into the same receptor sites as estrogen, they block out estrogen hormones which are 1000x stronger …. therefore, having a protective affect, similar to Tamoxifen, but without all the undesirable affects of Tamoxifen. Those undesirable side affects include …
Increased risk of stroke
Increased risk of cataracts & blindness
Increased risk of liver dysfunction
Causes white blood cell depletion & anermia
Causes phlebitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
Causes depression, nausea, hot flashes, vaginal dryness
Causes loss of libido
Increases risk of uterine cancer
Note: after five years, breast cancer protection benefits wane
Due to it’s protective benefits, soy is one of the BEST foods a woman with breast cancer can consume. One naturopathic doctor described soy’s benefits as follows:
Soy Isoflavones Decrease Cancer Stimulation
Fill the bloodstream with phytoestrogens (soy molecules)
They will bind to the cell’s receptor spaces where stronger estrogens would normally bind
When phytoestrogens block estrogens from binding to the receptors, they are called ANTAGONISTS, meaning they work against or block out the stronger estrogen hormone.
This prevents the strong stimulation of cancer cells by the estrogen hormones.
With less stimulation from estrogens, cancer cells grow much slower and are more susceptible to control by the immune system.
Also, research reports that isoflavones from soybeans (in particular “genisteins”) actually suppress tumor growth even in tumors that are not influenced by hormonal activity.
Research is discovering that phytoestrogens are inhibitors of breast, uterine, bowel and prostate cancer.
ESSENTIAL INFORMATION: When an informed woman with cancer wisely chooses to consume soy, she must know several things about how to choose her soy … choose raw soy powder, (not pasteurized soy milk or roasted soy beans). The soy powder must be made from organically grown, non-genetically grown soybeans. It must be water washed (not alcohol washed), and must have the anti-thyroid/anti-growth hormone removed. (see quality control details).
Foods with Phytoestrogens
(the most powerful ones are highlighted & underlined – soy & flaxseed are the strongest)
Fruits & cherries, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts,
Vegetables cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, yams
Herbs & aniseed, fennel, licorice, parsley, red raspberry,
Seasonings red clover, sage, hops, flaxseed, black cohosh, dong quai
Beans, Grains peas, soy, garbanzo beans, bulgur, wheat germ,
& Seeds rye
This is an article published in PUBMED. http://bit.ly/ohSsi
Biological effects of a diet of soy protein rich in isoflavones on the menstrual cycle of premenopausal women.
Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Cambridge, UK.
The influence of a diet containing soy protein on the hormonal status and regulation of the menstrual cycle was examined in six premenopausal women with regular ovulatory cycles. Soy protein (60 g containing 45 mg isoflavones) given daily for 1 mo significantly (P <>
PMID: 8074062 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE
COMING NEXT...A CHECK LIST OF WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A SOY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT.