Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a new Northwestern study finds dietary supplements traditionally used to treat breast cancer patients may do more harm than good.
Although concentrated soy was once marketed as beneficial for women with breast cancer, the study shows soy supplements have a negative effect on some women with breast cancer. The research was published Feb. 2 in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
Soy’s effects on cancer are based off a component called genistein. Dr. Raymond Bergan, a Feinberg professor and one of the study’s authors, had previously found genistein had a positive effect on men with prostate cancer. Other studies at the cellular level had indicated genistein had a positive effect on breast cancer. However, Bergan said these findings do not apply when looking at the whole body on a macroscopic level, which he views as more accurate.