Doctors say women are born with natural protection. The hormone estrogen protects them from heart disease, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. When menopause hits, estrogen production goes down.
Judy Bahnson hates ice cream, but she loves soy shakes. Not for their chocolaty taste, but for what they may protect her from — a family history of breast cancer and heart disease.
Greg Burke, M.D., M.S., Epidemiologist, Bowman Gray/Baptist Hospital Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC:
“One of the advantages of the soy shakes is that they taste good, they deliver a good dose of plant estrogens, they are a good source of protein.”
Dr. Greg Burke studies soy as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy for women during menopause. Judy was in his initial 6-week study to determine if the shakes were doing her any good. Her blood pressure dropped and the worst symptom of menopause — hot flashes — vanished.
Judy Bahnson drinks soy shakes:
“I was pretty amazed.”
Dr. Tom Clarkson conducts similar studies with monkeys. He sees the same results but with one added bonus.
Tom Clarkson, D.V.M., Veterinarian, Bowman Gray/Baptist Hospital Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC:
“We’re astounded the effect is so striking, it is almost complete protection against the development of diet-induced coronary artery atherosclerosis.”
Greg Burke, M.D., M.S.:
“This is no different than if somebody went out and consumed tofu for example, or found soy in a different way.”
Dr. Burke says he’ll keep looking for the downsides of soy, but so far hasn’t turned up any. Doctors point out Japanese women who eat a lot of soy have lower rates of heart disease, breast cancer and uterine cancer. It’s estimated Japanese women eat 1000 times as much soy as American women every day.