Soy is More Than Tofu (IV).
By Terry Hobbs.
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|Genistein has also been shown to inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells and human breast cancer cells. It has been shown to inhibit colon cancer in rats. It can stop the proliferation of cancer cells. Genistein also inhibits the growth of blood vessels, which could help prevent a tumor from getting its own blood supply.
Other soy compounds have antioxidant effects, helping to prevent the formation of tumor-promoting free radicals (oxygen atoms missing one or more electrons that cause cell damage). One soy compound, phytosterol, is not absorbed in the digestive tract and goes to the colon intact, where it appears to help inhibit the creation of cancer cells.
Still More Health Benefits
About 10 million Americans, 80% of them women, have osteoporosis. Premenopausal women are protected from osteoporosis due to the naturally occurring estrogen in their bodies. Because soy contains phytoestrogens (isoflavones), it is possible that it will help prevent osteoporosis. And, in studies with rats, genistein has been shown to prevent bone loss.
Americans normally associate calcium consumption with osteoporosis prevention, and they think of that calcium as coming from dairy products. Some soy foods, like whole soybeans, are also good sources of calcium. Furthermore, calcium consumption is not the whole story. Calcium can also be lost and excreted from the body in urine.
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