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News1997December › Phytoestrogens protect against breast cancer › December 1997

Phytoestrogens protect against breast cancer

Research from Australia shows that diet can play a crucial role in lowering women's risk of developing breast cancer

Research from Australia shows that diet can play a crucial role in lowering women's risk of developing breast cancer.

The two-year case-controlled study of women aged 30-84 in Perth, Australia, showed that those who have a high intake of phytoestrogens plant estrogen have a significantly lowered risk of contracting breast cancer.

This is particularly true of those with a high intake of the isoflavonic phytoestrogens found in soya products and lignan phytoestrogens found in whole grains, berries, other fruit and vegetables and flax seed.

Studies into the protective effects of phytoestrogens are still scarce, but it is known that Asian populations that consume large amounts of phytoestrogens derived from a soy-rich diet, have lower frequency of breast and prostate cancer than we do in the West.

These findings suggest the need for further research into effective ways of preventing breast cancer (Lancet, 1997; 350: 990-94).


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