Isoflavones may stop benign breast lumps: study

The potential benefits of soy isoflavones for breast health may extend beyond malignant tumours, as a new study suggests a lower incidence of benign breast cysts. Indeed, population studies have shown that a diet rich in soy is associated with fewer cases of breast cancer, linked to the presence of soy isoflavones. China has the world’s lowest incidence and mortality from breast cancer – a disease that has over one million new cases every year worldwide. The new study, led by Johanna Lampe from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, indicates that benefits may also extend to fibrocystic breast conditions, a very common and benign condition characterised by lumpiness and discomfort in one or both breasts. The researchers recruited 196 women with breast cancer, 304 women with benign breast condition, and 1,002 healthy, breast cancer-free age-matched controls in Shanghai, China. The benign conditions were further classified as proliferative (173 women) or nonproliferative (131 women). Increased plasma levels of the isoflavones genistein and daidzein were associated with a reduced risk of both types of benign conditions, in addition to breast cancer. Indeed, the highest plasma levels of genistein (more than 76.95 nanograms per millilitre) were 74 per cent less likely to have breast cancer, and 60 per cent less likely to have benign conditions, relative to women with the lowest average levels (less than 9.42 ng/mL).
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Source: NutraIngredients