Soy food reduces fracture risks in breast cancer survivors
Following a soy-rich diet can decrease the risk of bone fractures in pre-menopausal breast cancer survivors, according to a study in the US.
Many breast cancer treatments can cause premature menopause and decrease bone mineral density, leading to a higher incidence of osteoporosis-related fractures among survivors compared to healthy women of the same age.
Published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, researchers looked at the impact of BMI, exercise and soy food consumption on bone fracture rates among breast cancer survivors over 10 years. They used data from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study of 5042 newly diagnosed breast cancer survivors aged 20–75.
The study found 3.6% of survivors reported an osteoporotic bone fracture over the 10-year period, but higher soy intake was linked to a 77% reduced risk of osteoporotic fractures in younger women.
Soy-based foods, which are rich in isoflavones, provide a natural selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that helps increase bone mineral density, according to the study.
Consistent with previous studies, the researchers found the use of tamoxifen, a SERM and breast cancer drug, showed a 37% reduced risk of fractures.
“The menopausal transition is known to be a period of high risk for bone loss, and given the relative scarcity of data related to fracture risk among younger women with breast cancer, this study marks an important contribution to this body of literature,” said lead author Evelyn Hsieh from the Yale School of Medicine. “Our findings, in particular regarding the protective effects of soy food consumption, provide novel insight into how future interventions can be best tailored to different risk groups.”
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