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Soy products and stomach cancer

GIFU, JAPAN. Japanese researchers report that a high intake of non-fermented soy products (tofu, soybeans, soymilk, okara) reduces the risk of dying from stomach cancer. Their study involved over 30,000 people aged 35 years or older. During a 7-year period (1992-99) 121 of the study participants died from stomach cancer. The researchers found that men who consumed 112 grams/day (on average) of non- fermented soy products had half the risk of dying from stomach cancer than did men who consumed 37 grams/day (on average). This 50 per cent risk reduction held true even after adjusting for other variables known to affect stomach cancer. Women with a high daily intake of soy products (both fermented and non- fermented) also reduced their risk by 50 per cent, but this reduction was of marginal statistical significance.

The researchers also observed that men with a high rice intake had an 81 per cent higher mortality from stomach cancer than did men with a low intake. A similar, but only marginally significant, association was found among women. They conclude that the high rice consumption in Japan may contribute to the high mortality from stomach cancer found in that country. Smoking and obesity were also found to be significant risk factors for stomach cancer death.
Nagata, C., et al. A prospective cohort study of soy product intake and stomach cancer death. British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 87, July 1, 2002, pp. 31-36

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