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Soy Research: Women's Wellness

from Jana Mitcham
December 16, 2003

New research: soy may be key to women's wellness

Vitacorp's SuperSoy foods are the answer if you or the lady in your life have set goals for better health or weight managment in the New Year. This tasty, easy to use high protein food is great for your health. Look at the latest research results:

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Emerging research points to the beneficial role soy can play in a woman's diet, potentially protecting her from breast cancer and bone loss, alleviating hot flashes associated with menopause and even helping in weight management. These promising findings stem from research presented at the recent Fifth International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease in Orlando, Florida.

Researchers from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine presented findings from a primate study demonstrating that dietary soy intake may decrease risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, by counteracting breast cell proliferation caused by estrogen replacement therapy. The American Cancer Society anticipates 267,000 breast cancer diagnoses and 40,200 breast cancer deaths in 2003.

Janice Peterson, a director of the United Soybean Board (USB) commented, "Breast cancer ranks second among cancer-related deaths in women, and we need to do all we can to understand the benefits soy may have in preventing and treating this and other chronic diseases." Peterson also noted, "USB proudly sponsors the symposium to provide a forum for leading scientists from around the world to discuss their continuing research and better understand the health effects of soy."

Additionally, Hong Kong researchers investigated the effect of soy isoflavones on bone health in postmenopausal Chinese women, and found that habitual soy consumption played an important role in maintaining bone mineral density at the hip as well as bone mineral content for the total body. Eight million women have osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and prone to breakage. Another 34 million people are at risk for osteoporosis and related fractures, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Research from the University of Minnesota demonstrates a correlation between soy isoflavones and decrease in hot flash frequency during menopause. The meta-analysis examined numerous clinical studies and noted that the majority of the studies report a 30 to 50 percent reduction in symptoms with soy. The meta-analysis suggests that isoflavone consumption results in significant reduction of hot flash frequency and marginal reduction of hot flash severity. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.1 billion women will be age 50 or older by the year 2025, and an unprecedented number of these women will live several decades after menopause. Given the reluctance of many women to undergo estrogen replacement therapy, soy may provide a viable alternative.

Finally, preliminary research from the University of Kentucky suggests a relationship between soy protein intake and weight management. This may have particular relevance in high protein diets, which decrease appetite and promote the feeling of fullness (satiety). Soy may have the most effect in reducing abdominal fat and in promoting weight loss most rapidly among the obese.

The United Soybean Board (USB) is a farmer-led organization comprising 62 farmer-directors. USB oversees the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. For more information on soy and health, please visit

Source: United Soybean Board

CONTACT: Diana Steeble of Publicis Dialog, for United Soybean Board of Publicis Dialog, +1-206-270-4637, or

Web site:


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