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Soy consumption may help fight osteoporosis

An increase in soy isoflavon consumption may help strengthen bones and increase bone density says a recent report in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

The report analyzed 10 random, controlled studies and concluded that isoflavon intake of 90mg per day (over six months) contributed to a 20mg to 30mg (per sq. cm) increase in bone density among menopausal women.

These findings seem to support previous studies linking soy consumption to an almost 50% decrease in bone fractures among menopausal and post menopausal women.

But soy isoflavons aren’t beneficial to women only.  For example, they appear to reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women by inhibiting growth of cells that form artery-clogging plaque.

Isoflavons may also help combat cancer in both sexes.   The rate of breast and prostate cancer for instance, is much higher in the United States and Europe than in Asian countries like Japan and China.  Higher levels of soy consumption could be why.

Researchers believe that diet is one of the reasons cancer risk differs dramatically between ethnic groups.  A major difference between Western and Asian diets is that that the latter consume a lot of soy products.

While more research needs to be done to identify how isoflavons work to increase bone density, this latest report seems to bolster a growing body of evidence about the positive health properties of soy isoflavons.
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