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Epidemiologic Studies of Isoflavones & Mammographic Density

Author(s): Gertraud Maskarinec | Martijn Verheus | Jeffrey A. Tice

Journal: Nutrients
ISSN 2072-6643

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: breast cancer risk | mammographic density | soy foods | isoflavones | Asian ethnicity | epidemiology | randomized trials

Isoflavones, phytoestrogens in soy beans with estrogen-like properties, have been examined for their cancer protective effects. Mammographic density is a strong predictor of breast cancer. This review summarizes studies that have examined the association between isoflavones and breast density. Observational investigations in Hawaii and Singapore suggest slightly lower breast density among women of Asian descent with regular soy intake, but two larger studies from Japan and Singapore did not observe a protective effect. The findings from seven randomized trials with primarily Caucasian women indicate that soy or isoflavones do not modify mammographic density. Soy foods and isoflavone supplements within a nutritional range do not appear to modify breast cancer risk as assessed by mammographic density.
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