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Great example of how studies are misinterpreted to make a point - Printable Version

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Great example of how studies are misinterpreted to make a point - James - 07-04-2012 02:36 AM

Here is a part of a post I received a while back from someone who was bashing soy and found this link presenting it as "evidence" to back his claim:

The June issue of the respected medical journal, Cancer Research, shows that injecting genistein into newborn mice for 5 days, causes uterine cancer (1). The doses were only slightly higher than infants receive from drinking soybean milk. In fact, genistein from soybean caused a higher rate of cancer than DES, the artifical estrogen that is an established known cause of uterine and vaginal cancer in humans. The July issue of Nutrition and Cancer will feature an article from the University of Missouri showing that genistein causes breast cancer in mice (2).

Did you bother looking at the actual study, or are you just accepting someone's claim because they posted it on the Internet and it has something negative to say? Here is an abstract of the study.

Uterine Adenocarcinoma in Mice Treated Neonatally with Genistein

Retha R. Newbold1, Elizabeth Padilla Banks, Bill Bullock and Wendy N. Jefferson

Developmental Endocrinology Section, Laboratory of Toxicology, Environmental Toxicology Program, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 [R. R. N., E. P. B., W. N. J.], and Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157 [B. B.]

The developing fetus is uniquely sensitive to perturbation with estrogenic chemicals. The carcinogenic effect of prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) is the classic example. Because phytoestrogen use in nutritional and pharmaceutical applications for infants and children is increasing, we investigated the carcinogenic potential of genistein, a naturally occurring plant estrogen in soy, in an experimental animal model previously reported to result in a high incidence of uterine adenocarcinoma after neonatal DES exposure. Outbred female CD-1 mice were treated on days 1–5 with equivalent estrogenic doses of DES (0.001 mg/kg/day) or genistein (50 mg/kg/day). At 18 months, the incidence of uterine adenocarcinoma was 35% for genistein and 31% for DES. These data suggest that genistein is carcinogenic if exposureoccurs during critical periods of differentiation. Thus, the use of soy-based infant formulas in the absence of medical necessity and the marketing of soy products designed to appeal to children should be closely examined."

Now, first note that we are not mice.

Secondly look at the concentration of the genistein given to these mice. They CLEARLY state that they gave an equivalent concentration to the DES. Well duh, of course you are going to have side effects! Do you realize how much soy you would have to consume in one meal to get even close to the equivalent dose of genestein for your body size? That is like giving someone 5 pounds of aspirin to prove aspirin is toxic!!! Again, this is why people need to research these claims for themselves rather than accepting something just because it is posted on a biased website somewhere!

RE: Great example of how studies are misinterpreted to make a point - James - 07-04-2012 03:43 AM

Another example of a study being used to mislead people:

Soy has plenty of beneficial effects...but I do not
believe it to be a positive influence on the human thryoid.

Soy formula complicates management of congenital hypothyroidism
S Conrad, H Chiu, and B Silverman
Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA.Email:

This study is referring to congenital hypothyroidism, which means these infants were born with the hypothyroidism. We can't blame soy for that.