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Expert Opinions

Expert Opinions Archive
I have read about the "life-enhancing" benefits of soy protein, but I have also read that isoflavones may increase cancer risk. My children and I consume a breakfast drink that contains isolated soy protein. Is this the same ingredient as isoflavones?

C.M. Los Gatos, CA
No, they are different. However, most products containing Isolated Soy Protein also contain some isoflavones. Soy isoflavones are phytochemicals (naturally occurring plant chemicals) in soy products that exert mild estrogenic effects and are thus called phytoestrogens. They are currently being investigated for their anticancer activity, particularly in relation to hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. However, some studies suggest that for certain individuals, high soy consumption may disrupt hormone balance or induce certain hormone-dependent cancers. While data on the safety of soy isoflavones in supplement form is currently unknown, most health professionals would concur that consumption of soy in food form is a healthy dietary choice. You don't say how much of this soy drink you and your children consume, but we would venture to guess that you are drinking no more than 8-12 ounces a day. This should give you and your kids a wonderful nutritionally sound boost.
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