Phytoestrogens are natural, estrogen-like compounds found in plant foods, such as whole grains, seeds, fruits, and particularly soybeans.
A small number of studies have suggested that susceptible women who consume high levels of purified soy protein and/or foods containing high amounts of isoflavones may have an increased risk of breast cancer. Therefore, phytoestrogens have received a great deal of negative press recently.
However, anecdotal evidence regarding the low incidence of breast cancer among Asian women, whose diets are rich in soy-based phytoestrogens, suggests there may be a favorable connection. Furthermore, the majority of studies suggest that consuming soy foods such as tofu and other foods rich in phytoestrogens actually decreases a womanís risk of developing breast cancer.