Dietary intake of soy protein and tofu in association with breast cancer risk based on a case-control study

Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(5):568-76. doi: 10.1080/01635580801966203.


Soy food and its constituents may protect against breast cancer, but the association between soy intake and decreased breast cancer risk is inconsistent. We evaluated the relationship between breast cancer risk and the dietary intake of soy protein as measured by total soy food and tofu intake. Histologically confirmed cases (n = 362) were matched to controls by age (within 2 yr) and menopausal status. High soy protein intake was associated with reduced breast cancer risk in analyses adjusted for potential confounders including dietary factors among premenopausal women (odds ratio [OR] = 0.39 in the highest quintile, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.22-0.93, P for trend = 0.03) and postmenopausal women (OR = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.06-0.88, P for trend = 0.16). We also found an inverse association between total tofu intake and breast cancer risk among premenopausal women (for total tofu intake, OR = 0.23 in the highest quintile, 95% CI = 0.11-0.48, P for trend < 0.01; for at least 1 serving of tofu as the main ingredient per day, OR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.13-0.55, P for trend < 0.01). We concluded that increased regular soy food intake at a level equivalent to traditional Korean consumption levels may be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, and this effect is more pronounced in premenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet / methods*
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Premenopause
  • Risk Factors
  • Soy Foods*
  • Soybean Proteins / administration & dosage*


  • Soybean Proteins