The Jury is Still Out on Soy

In the search for a breast cancer preventive, soy has been considered a promising candidate. But a review of research on soy's phytoestrogen genistein (K.B. Bouker, L. Hilakivi-Clarke, "Genistein: Does it prevent or promote breast cancer," Environmental Health Perspectives, 108:70-8, August 2000) is lukewarm on the compound's preventative capabilities. "There is no strong evidence that genistein would actually prevent breast cancer, but there is no strong evidence that genistein would increase risk either," says Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, an associate professor of oncology at Georgetown University. Even though the evidence that genistein would increase breast cancer risk is not very persuasive, the authors do state that "studies indicating a potential breast cancer risk should not be taken lightly" and there is a "paramount" need to understand its potential to promote breast cancer. Genistein may play a role in promoting breast cancer, says Hilakivi-Clarke,...

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