The Asahi Shimbun
`Three bowls a day slashes breast cancer risk by 40%.'
Women in their 40s and 50s, around the time menopause sets in, who consume at least three bowls of miso soup a day cut the risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 40 percent, a study by the National Cancer Center Research Institute found.
According to the study, released Tuesday, post-menopausal women who consume isofrabon, which is found in foods containing soybean such as miso soup, were much less likely to develop breast cancer.
The results of the study suggest isofrabon works to block production of the female hormone estrogen, which is believed to cause breast cancer, researchers said.
But consuming processed foods containing soybean-tofu, fried bean curd and natto (fermented beans), for example-did not cut women's risk of developing breast cancer, the study found.
Researchers, led by Shouichiro Tsugane, director of the institute's cancer prevention research department, questioned about 22,000 women since 1990 on their daily diet for the study. The women were all aged between 40 and 59 and from Iwate, Akita, Nagano and Okinawa prefectures.
``Eating miso soup is effective in preventing breast cancer. But drinking too much miso soup will lead to an excessive salt intake, which is bad for the health, so it's important to eat a balanced diet,'' said Tsugane, a specialist in epidemiology and disease prevention.(IHT/Asahi: September 12,2003)