CHICAGO – Asian-American women who ate a lot of soy as children had a 58 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer, US researchers said on Monday in a finding that suggests soy may have a protective effect.

"Childhood soy intake was significantly associated with reduced breast cancer risk in our study," said Dr. Larissa Korde of the National Cancer Institute, whose study appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Historically, breast cancer rates among white women in the United States are four to seven times higher than in women in China or Japan, Regina Ziegler of the National Cancer Institute said in a statement.

"This is the first study to evaluate childhood soy intake and subsequent breast cancer risk, and this one result is not enough for a public health recommendation," she said, adding that the findings need to be replicated in other studies.


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