Soy and fish lower cancer risk
WASHINGTON: Diets high in soy and fish may lower the risk of cancer, two new studies have revealed.
In one study, presented at a meeting in Boston of the American Association for Cancer Research, women who ate soy regularly as children were found to have a lower risk of breast cancer later in life.
A second study presented at the same meeting found that men who ate fish several times a week had a lower risk of colon cancer.
Larissa Korde of the National Cancer Institute and colleagues at the University of Hawaii studied 597 Asian-American women with breast cancer and 966 women without the disease. The mothers of some of the women were also available to answer questions about what they fed their daughters as children.
"Childhood soy intake was significantly associated with reduced breast cancer risk in our study, suggesting that the timing of soy intake may be especially critical," Korde said.
It is not clear how soy might prevent cancer, although compounds in soy called isoflavones have oestrogen-like effects.
A second study presented at the same meeting showed that men who ate fish five times a week or more had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to men who ate fish less than once a week.
Megan Phillips of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues analysed data from 22,071 men volunteering for a large, ongoing study of physicians.
"We already know that eating fish can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, and this might provide another reason to add fish to your diet," said Phillips.
A separate study published on Monday found that eating red meat raised the risk of breast cancer in women.