Soy Isoflavones Are Safe Treatment for Menopause, Soy for Teenagers Reduces Cancer, New Studies Show

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Two new scientific studies, one in Brazil and the other in California, have demonstrated anew the health benefits of soyfoods, with one study showing for the first time strong data indicating that isoflavone treatment can be a safe and effective alternative treatment for menopausal systems.

Isoflavones are naturally-occurring plant compounds found in soybeans that have become the subject of new and intensive study because they can help reduce the risk of disease.

The Brazilian study, conducted by scientists at the Federal University of Sao Paulo's School of Medicine, examined the change in both cardiovascular risk factors and in menopausal symptoms when a group of post-menopausal women aged 45 to 55 years received 100 milligrams of soy isoflavones daily.

"This study suggests that isoflavone l00 mg regime treatment may be a safe and effective alternative therapy for menopausal symptoms and may offer a benefit to the cardiovascular system," the study concluded. The study has been published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, a publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The study demonstrated that the isoflavone treatment was effective in alleviating menopausal "hot flashes" and also lowered LDL (or "bad") cholesterol, suggesting a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.

The California study found that Asian-American women who ate soy during adolescence may reduce the risk of breast cancer in adulthood. The study was conducted at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine and has been published in the journal Carcinogenesis.

The USC researchers found that American women of Chinese, Japanese and Filipino descent who consumed soyfoods on a regular basis during their teenage years had a much lower incidence of breast cancer later in life. It was theorized that the presence of isoflavones in the diet during the years that women develop breast tissue may provide a protective benefit.

Asian diets contain larger amounts of soyfoods than typical American diets, and researchers have long studied eating habits of those who consumed such soyfoods as soymilk, tofu, miso and soybeans and found that rates of breast cancer were lower in Asian women and that soy also helps prevent a number of other diseases and illnesses.

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