Genistein: does it prevent or promote breast cancer?
Diet is estimated to contribute to approximately 50% of all newly diagnosed breast cancers. As such, a search for dietary factors differentially consumed among populations with increased breast cancer risk (e.g., Caucasians) compared to those with low risk (e.g., Asians) has become a priority. One such dietary component, which is typical to the Asian but not the Caucasian diet, is soy. We review data relevant to attempts to determine whether soy, and more specifically genistein, is a dietary component that may help to explain the dramatic disparity in breast cancer risk among these populations.