Confused about soy and estrogen?

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Question from butterfly: I'm confused about soy. As a BC survivor, I'm supposed to avoid estrogen. I read that soy mimics estrogen, yet the popular media says all women my age could benefit from soy. What gives?
Answers - Marisa C. Weiss, M.D. Soy proteins contain isoflavones that can mimic a weak estrogen effect. It's not "high test" estrogen like your own body would make. It is 1,000 times weaker than your own body's estrogen. I think that soy protein is a healthy source of protein in your diet, as a substitute for other less healthy sources of protein, like red meat, and chicken. I feel uncomfortable with the use of soy supplements, like powders and pills, because it is hard to know how much of the active ingredient that you are getting.
Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. Don't forget, too, that these foods also may help with hot flashes.
Marisa C. Weiss, M.D. And they lower cholesterol.
Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. And they help you with strong bones. The other active substance, or dietary estrogen-like substance, in these foods, is lignans.
Marisa C. Weiss, M.D. There are other foods and plants that contain estrogen-like substances, besides soy.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2000, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Food for Cancer Recovery. Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about nutrition and how it relates to cancer recovery.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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