Soy reduces the risk of lung cancer

Soy reduces the risk of lung cancer

In the context of a healthy diet, people who consume soy appear to be better protected against lung cancer, as several studies have shown.

Soy reduces the risk of lung cancer

Soy products are sometimes labeled as harmful and even carcinogenic, due to the potential estrogenic effect of isoflavones. However, epidemiological studies have shown that its consumption is associated with a lower incidence of cancer and a recent study has shown that it can reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.

Lung cancer is responsible for the highest number of deaths related to the disease worldwide, in both rich and poor countries. Smoking is responsible for 25% of cases, but the remaining 75% is due to other causes.


A balanced diet is an important preventive factor. For example, sugar should be avoided because a diet high in sugar can increase the risk of lung cancer, according to a study conducted at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, while a diet high in fiber and lots of fruits and vegetables protects the lungs.

From animal and in vitro studies it is specifically known that soy also has a protective effect against cancer. In these studies, the high isoflavone content of soy was able to inhibit cancer development and lead to a better prognosis for the existing tumor.


Isoflavones inhibit angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow) and metastasis (the spread of cancer to a part of the body other than where it started) and also counteract oxidative stress, so they also have antioxidant effects.

Since the consumption of soy has been shown to be useful and protective in epidemiological studies in hormone-dependent forms of cancer (breast, uterine and ovarian cancer), it is assumed that isoflavones bind to the estrogen receptor and thus slow development or cancer progression, because when isoflavones block estrogen receptors, they can no longer drive the cancer.


Estrogen receptors also play an important role in lung cancer, which is why the protective effect of soy products in relation to lung cancer was examined in an extensive meta-analysis of 11 epidemiological studies. It was found that women in particular could benefit from the protective properties of soybeans.

Their risk of developing lung cancer was reduced by 21 percent if they ate soy-based foods. In nonsmokers, frequent soy consumption lowered the risk by 38 percent. In smokers, the harmful effects of smoking predominate and consuming soy does not help them much.

Since people who like to eat soy generally eat and live healthier, that is, they also do more sports and drink less alcohol, it is often said that it is the general way of life that has an effect protective. However, in the aforementioned studies, the effect of soy consumption on other factors was precisely isolated.

Of course, no study supports soy as a shield against cancer or its usefulness in treatment. Soy is only preventive within the framework of a healthy diet and lifestyle. And it is similar to other plant foods rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Products derived from soy such as tofu or milk can be included in the diet for its richness in proteins and minerals such as calcium or iron.


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