Tag Archives: Cancer

New cancer risk related to high sugar consumption

Sugar, sugar everywhere … FoodFacts.com is always seeking awareness and education about the problems related to our high levels of sugar consumption. Sugar, in a variety of forms, is added to almost every processed food and beverage product available on our grocery shelves. We’re experiencing soaring levels of obesity and diabetes, and it hasn’t altered the sugar content of our food supply.

Today we read about the results of a new study coming out of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland that has linked high sugar and fat diets with an increased risk of bowel cancer. It appears that colorectal (bowel) cancer can be positively associated with the consumption of sugary beverages, cakes, cookies, snacks and desserts.

Conducted last year using data from the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Study, the study included 2,063 patients suffering from bowel cancer and 2,776 control participants from Scotland.

The study builds on previous research analyzing links between diet and bowel cancer, which identified two distinct eating patterns. One was a diet high in healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables, and the other diet was high in meat, fat and sugar.

The research team analyzed over 170 foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish and meat, as well as chocolate, nuts, chips and fruit drinks. They also looked at links between some established risks of bowel cancer, such as family history of cancer, physical activity and smoking.

Results revealed that the healthy diet was associated with a decreased risk of bowel cancer, while the high fat and sugar diet is associated with an increased risk.

While it was noted that some of the main predictors of colorectal cancer include family history and genetic risk factors, diet can actually play a very important role in its development. Previous research did link the disease with high consumption of processed links, but this new information shows a link with sugary snacks and drinks. Researchers acknowledge that the study does not show a cause and effect relationship between this type of cancer and sugar consumption, but the suggestion is certainly strong enough to indicate the need for larger studies in the future.

FoodFacts.com understands that added sugar is an unnecessary component of thousands of food products. We’re already aware of the role of added sugars in contributing to the worldwide obesity crisis and we’ve already been made aware of the unprecedented climb in instances of diabetes across the globe. Now, researchers are acknowledging a possible link between sugary foods and colorectal cancer. The majority of the sugar consumed by our population doesn’t come from our sugar bowls, it comes from products we purchase every day. While nothing may ever actually get added sugar out of our food supply, we can cut down on the sugar we consume ourselves, by preparing fresh, whole foods in our own kitchens where we can make sure our own diets our as healthy as we can make them.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263392.php

Reduced levels of nitrites in hot dogs had no significant affect on incidence of colon cancer

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FoodFacts.com
thought our community would find this story of particular interest. Back in 1978, the United States government mandated the addition of vitamin C to hot dogs. This would reduce the amount of nitrites and would, by the popular opinion of the time, reduce the rate of colon cancer in the country.

The FDA required hot dog manufacturers to include either ascorbate or erythorbate in their products. Both of these would offset the amount of nitrites present in the meat. Nitrites are what is added to processed meats like frankfurters. They enhance flavor and color in addition to extending shelf life. Unfortunately, as the meat is cooked the nitrites mix with amines in the meat to form cancer-causing nitrosamines. The presence of vitamin C would reduce the nitrites and prevent the cancer.

Great idea.

A new study, however, has revealed that although there has been a notable drop in the number of people who die from colon cancer, there really hasn’t been much of a change in the number of people who actually get colon cancer. These findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting just this week. While researchers agree that the amount of nitrites in hot dogs were definitely reduced by the changes made by the government, those reductions did not decrease the risk for colon cancer in the country. Researchers feel that the results would have been evident by now.

It was agreed that the decrease in the death rate from colon cancer is most likely attributable to earlier detection and better treatments.

While the researchers agreed that reducing the nitrites in hot dogs was a beneficial move, the hot dog issue is difficult to determine. Since not everyone is a hot dog fan, and even most of those who are aren’t eating them in excess, studying the issue is clouded.

Regardless of its effect on colon cancer, it’s better for everyone that today’s hot dogs carry reduced quantities of nitrites compared to their 1970’s counterparts.

Fight cancer at the farmer’s market

FoodFacts.com does its best to inform our community of different foods that are beneficial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Staying healthy has to do with many different parts of a person’s life: diet, nutrition, stress and heredity are among those things that play a role. While there are elements of our lives we just don’t have control over (like our family tree), there are things we can do to reduce our risk of disease.

Certain foods have been identified as helpful in the reduction of cancer risk. These foods are packed with nutritional content. They are typically low in calories and high in fiber.

The American Institute for Cancer research has cited weight control as a key factor in preventing some cancers. In fact, obesity is said to increase the risk of colorectal, esophageal, endometrial, pancreatic, renal and postmenopausal breast cancers.

There are food gwhat-are-cruciferous-vegetablesroups that boast especially beneficial nutritional components that will help control weight and bring countless other health benefits. Here are some food groups that can help you enjoy better health:

  • Cruciferous vegetables – Research has shown that the phytochemical, sulforaphane, found in these vegetables can stimulate enzymes in the body that are thought to detoxify carcinogens before they can damage cells. Indole 3-carbinol and crambene (compounds also found in crucierous vegetables) are also thought to activate detoxification enzymes.
  • Garlic helps protect against stomach cancer, colon cancer, esophageal, pancreatic and breast cancers. Onions, leeks and chives have all shown similar effects.
  • Berries are also high in vitamin C, fiber and ellagic acid, shown to reduce the risk of breast, lung, bladder and skin cancers. In addition, berries have been shown to slow down the growth of cancer cells.
  • Beans - Legumes like lentils, peas and any dried beans are high in saponins. Saponins are phytochemicals found in beans and herbs. They have been shown to be beneficial in reducing blood cholesterol levels, cancer risks and supporting bone health. Beans are also high in fiber.peas
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale, dark lettuces) have carotenoids, which protect against cancer of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. Other research has found that the carotenoids in these vegetables also slow the growth of certain types of stomach, lung, breast and skin cancer cells.
  • Grapes and grape juice are also loaded with resveratrol. The skin of grapes contains most of its resveratrol. Red grapes carry more of the phytochemical than green grapes. Resveratrol is thought to slow the growth of cancer cells and may inhibit tumors in the liver and stomach.
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  • Tomatoes sport there beautiful red color because of the phytochemical lycopene. Lycopene is linked to the reduction of the risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene and other related anyoxidants have displayed anti-cancer benefits in varying studies with other cancer cells beyond prostate, including breast, lung and endometrial.

FoodFacts.com is excited to continually share with you the food choices that will work to keep you vital, healthy and energetic. All the foods detailed here are tasty

additions to your diet, and they offer protection against cancer, not to mention carrying many other nutrients that benefit your body in a variety of ways. Stock up and get cooking!

Potato Chips that cause Cancer?

Potato Chips
Foodfacts.com works to bring our followers the latest in food news and research. We’ve gone over the recent discovery of arsenic in apple juice, sucralose in our drinking water, and hair in our peanut butter! One recent and popular topic we’ve been hearing a lot about is Acrylamide; a chemical which is formed from sugars and an amino acid during cooking at high temperatures! Read more to find out which foods contain this chemical!

What exactly is Acrylamide, and how is it formed?
The FDA defines acrylamide as:
Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide in food forms from sugars and the amino acid asparagine that are naturally present in food; it does not come from food packaging or the environment.

Where else could we find Acrylamide?
This chemical compound is used in many industrial processes, which include the production of paper, dyes, plastics, grouts, and cosmetics. It is also used in the treatment of drinking water and waste-water, including sewage.

How long has Acrylamide been around?
This chemical has most likely been in our food supply for many, many years. However, scientists only discovered this chemical in our foods in April 2002 after a series of testing. Since then, they have been trying to determine the long-term effects, and possible solutions for this issue.

What types of high-temperature cooking cause Acrylamide formation?
Frying, roasting, broiling, and baking are methods likely to cause the formation of acrylamide. Boiling and steaming don’t typically cause the formation of acrylamide.
Ore-Ida French Fries at blog.foodfacts.com!
What foods are likely to have this chemical? Why?

Potato products (such as chips and french fries), grain products, and coffee. Acrylamide is less likely to form in dairy, meat, and fish products. These items all have larger amounts of the amino acid, asparagine, which causes the formation when combined with sugars.

What health implications are associated with acrylamide consumption?

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer consider acrylamide to be a “probable human carcinogen,” based on studies in laboratory animals given acrylamide in drinking water. However, toxicology studies have shown differences in acrylamide absorption rates between humans and rodents. (National Cancer Institute)

What is the FDA doing regarding acrylamide in food?
So far the FDA has developed an action plan regarding the issue of acrylamide in foods. They have setup meeting with the Food Advisory Committee, and subcommittees to gather input on the acrylamide program. Peer-reviewed research articles have been published to spread awareness on the issue, along with continually doing new research. Finally, consumer assessments are being prepared to evaluate exposure to this chemical. (FDA)
Potatoes at blog.foodfacts.com!
How to lookout for Acrylamide:
Since acrylamide is formed chemically during the cooking process, you will not find it alongside other ingredients on product labels. What we recommend is that you complete some research concerning which foods tested for the highest amounts of this chemical. As we have learned so far, potato products, grains, and coffee have the largest amounts of the amino acid asparagine. Also, we would like to note that acrylamide can be formed in both organic, and non-organic foods.

We’ll update you on more news regarding acrylamide as it comes through!

(Foodfacts.com)

BPA in Children’s Foods

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A major concern among many of our Foodfacts.com followers is bisphenol A , better known as BPA. We’ll try to clear up any questions you may have regarding products containing BPA, and also give you tips and resources on how to avoid exposure.

First, what is BPA?
Bisphenol A is a chemical which is produced and used in large quantities for polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins which are commonly found in cans for food and jar lids.

Why is BPA a concern?
BPA is an endocrine disruptor. Exposure has been linked to a higher risk of prostate and breast cancers, infertility in females, diabetes, obesity, and ADHD.

Where can I find BPA?
A recent report issued by the Breast Cancer Fund showed various levels of BPA in different canned-foods marketed towards children. Note that these products may not be the only items containing BPA. BPA is measured in parts per billion (ppb):

114 ppb – Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
81 ppb – Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
39 ppb – Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup, USDA Organic
31 ppb – Annie’s Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli, USDA Organic
13 ppb – Campbell’s Spaghettios with Meatballs
20 ppb – Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABC’s & 123′s with Meatballs

Now that you know some of the foods which are exposed to BPA, you can also learn some foods that do not contain this chemical. The easiest way to find out, is to go online and do some research.

We’ve found that Eden Organic, Wild Planet, Trader Joe’s, Eco Fish, Edward & Son’s products do not use this chemical in their packaging. Also, Rubbermaid, Evenflo, and a few other plastic-based companies address that their items are available without BPA. Don’t be surprised if these items are a bit more pricey, because they tend to materials that cost more for each product.

Do your research on BPA!

(Foodfacts.com)

ConAgra’s unsuccessful attempt to promote Marie Callender’s

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Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

As many consumers know, ConAgra has been targeted for marketing “natural” oils, which are far from natural; and producing what most people commonly refer to as “frankenfood.” In an effort to boost their publicity and promote their line of products, ConAgra hired a PR firm to setup a lavish event for well-known culinary bloggers to attend a dinner prepared by celebrity chef George Duran. However, the bloggers were not served food created by George Duran, instead they were served ConAgra’s popular frozen brand, Marie Callender’s. Apparently, they expected the bloggers to receive the joke in good terms and return home to blog about how great their meals were. Wrong reaction. The bloggers were furious with ConAgra’s actions and took to the internet to proclaim so. We understand why these bloggers would be upset, because looking closely at these frozen dinners, anyone would cringe at the awful combination of ingredients.
Marie Callender's at Foodfacts.com!

One entree choice from the Marie Callender’s product line is turkey breast with stuffing. This 380 calorie meal is equipped with about 80 ingredients, some of which are very controversial. TBHQ, BHA, BHT, various artificial flavors, “natural” flavors, MSG, carrageenan, partially hydrogenated oils, caramel coloring, high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, disodium guanylate, and many more of our worst controversial ingredients all accompany the few turkey breast medallions and small portion of what appears to say “gravy.” There is also 1,370 mg of sodium, 4 g of saturated fat, and 60 mg of cholesterol. Choose your foods wisely! This meal is unlikely to leave someone feeling good after they dig into it.

Marie Callender's at Foodfacts.com!
Marie Callender’s lasagna, which was served at the deceiving dinner party, has about 30% of the daily value for saturated fat, 31% the daily value for sodium, and 45 mg of cholesterol. Lest we forget it also contains sodium benzoate, which has been shown to be carcinogenic in the presence of vitamin C. This particular product contains 8% of vitamin C from tomatoes, and maybe a few other ingredients, which isn’t much, but who would take such a chance from a boxed dinner? Also, there are two different sources for flavoring, and partially hydrogenated oils. Overall, not a great product. I would be displeased too if this was served to me!

razzleberry pie at Foodfacts.com!
Being served a warm homemade pie isn’t quite like a microwaved razzleberry pie from a Marie Callender’s box. Though they don’t contain a very large list of ingredients in comparison to other brands, Mari Callender’s pie still contains trans fat, a hefty load of added sugars, various modified starches, and quite a bit of sodium. Also, just one slice is 360 calories. We’re pretty sure it’s not a thick slice, but more of a tiny sliver. Watch your portions if you’re daring enough to try it!

More on Aspartame and its Controversy

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It seems that people have always had a “sweet tooth” to some extent.
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So much so, that much of the Caribbean and the American south was covered with sugar plantations throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.

This need for something sweet has carried on to the present-day. Unfortunately, sugar, as sweet and delicious as it is, is also very effective at packing on the pounds.
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So, when James Schlatter, a drug researcher at G.D. Searle and Co., stumbled upon aspartame in 1965, it was instantly studied as a substitute for sugar.

According to Aspartame.org, which is a member The Calorie Control Council, an international non-profit association representing the low-calorie food and beverage industry, the artificial sweetener is currently “consumed by over 200 million people around the world and is found in more than 6,000 products.”

Controversy over Safety and Toxicity

However, since the artificial sweetener was approved by the FDA in 1974, there has been controversy around its safety and toxicity.

After it hit the market in 1985, several complaints against the artificial sweetener arose. However, the government maintained that aspartame is safe for human consumption. Yet, opponents of the artificial sweetener state that the government’s investigation and subsequent approval were corrupted due to a conflict of interest.

Nevertheless, the Aspartame.org maintains, “The safety of aspartame has been affirmed by the U.S. FDA 26 times in the past 23 years.”

Many people, including some doctors and researchers, are not convinced.
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In article by Dr. John Briffa for The Epoch Times, the link between Aspartame side effects and fibromyalgia is explored. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome usually characterized by fatigue and chronic pain in the muscles and in tissues surrounding the joints.

Two Cases Linking Aspartame to Fibromyalgia

Braiffa cites two cases from Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology journal published in December 2010.

In the first case, a woman suffered from the syndrome for years. While on vacation she discontinued her aspartame consumption and her symptoms ceased. When she returned home, she resumed consuming aspartame and her symptoms returned.

In the second case, a man suffered from fibromyalgia for three years. His doctor removed aspartame from his diet and his symptoms ceased. In reference to these two cases Braiffa states:

“Case studies such as these don’t prove that these individuals’ symptoms were due to aspartame. [snip] Certainly, should I see an individual suffering from generalized pain andfibromyalgia in the future, I’ll be making doubly sure I ask about their consumption of aspartame and will be advising them to stop it as a matter of course.”

Side Effects of Aspartame

In a recent article found at The Gleaner, Dr. Janet Star Hull stated the following were common Aspartame side effects:

• Nervous system: epileptic seizures, headaches, migraine, severe dizziness, unsteadiness, memory loss, drowsiness and sleepiness, numbness of the limbs, slurring of speech, hyperactivity, restless legs, facial pain, tremors, attention-deficit disorder and brain tumors.

• Eyes/Ears: blindness, blurring or decreased vision, bright flashes, and decreased night vision, pain in the eyes, bulges in eyes, ringing or buzzing sounds, hearing loss.

• Psychological/Psychiatric: depression, irritability, aggression, anxiety, personality changes, insomnia, phobias.

• Chest: palpitations, shortness of breath, high blood pressure.

• Intestinal: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain.

• Allergies: wheezing, asthma, itching, skin rash.

• Diabetes: Aspartame can precipitate diabetes, worsens blood sugar control, may cause diabetics to have seizures and interact badly with insulin.
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Aspartame aggregates diabetic retinopathy, damages the optic nerve and promotes blindness. The free methyl alcohol it produces causes neuropathy and increases the risk of diabetics losing limbs.

However, Aspartame.org contends that these allegations are false – proven not only by the FDA, but also by other food safety organizations.

“Recently, several governments and expert scientific committees (including the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commission, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency, the French Food Safety Agency and Health Canada) carefully evaluated the Internet allegations and found them to be false, reconfirming the safety of aspartame. In addition, leading health authorities, such as the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Lupus Foundation of America, have reviewed the claims on the Internet and also concluded that they are false.”

The organization also states the artificial sweetener has received a clean bill of health from the National Cancer Society and the American Diabetes
Association.

This controversy has been going on for nearly three decades and there is no sign of it letting up any time soon.
(Top Secret Writers)

Propyl Gallate. Cancer causing Food Additive?

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Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

Maybe on Friday night’s you eat popcorn, during the day you’ll pop a few M&M’s, and late one night you may indulge with a slice of Digiorno pizza. As some may already be aware, these aren’t the greatest choices, but some people may consider them as treats every so often. Well all of these products have one ingredient in common, propyl gallate. Sounds very scientific, doesn’t it? Well, it is.

As an anti-oxidation additive, propyl gallate is commonly found in edible fats, oils, mayonnaise, shortening, baked goods, candy, dried meat, fresh pork sausage, and dried milk; but that’s not all. Propyl gallate is also an ingredient in shampoos and conditioners, cosmetics, lubricating oil additives, and transforming oils. In summary, the same additives you put in your hair, car, and some appliances; you put in your mouth. Sounds delicious.

AFTER food companies began to use this additive, studies were done by the National Toxicology Program and the National Institute for Health to determine the carcinogenic properties of propyl gallate. Yes, that’s right, after this additive was already added to our foods. Research including mice and rats were conducted by including propyl gallate into the diet in small amounts. Although these studies did not conclude that propyl gallate directly causes cancers, results did show that it may potentially increase risk of certain cancers. Other side-effects associated with this additive are asthma attacks, stomach and skin irritation, liver damage, and kidney damage.

And still, propyl gallate is added to many foods, such as:
DiGiorno Pizzas
Pop-Secret Popcorn
Johnsonville Sausage
M&M’s
Stove Top stuffing
Stouffer’s prepared frozen products

Keep your eyes on the lookout for propyl gallate!

Watch out for Potassium Bromate!

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Wonder bread, Chex Mix, Swanson dinners and other bread-based products all have one ingredients in common, potassium bromate. If you scroll through some of your favorite bread products you’ll find that most nutrition labels list this controversial ingredient. However, some consumers may not pay attention to it because potassium is linked to the term, and that’s a good thing, right? You may want to start looking closely for this ingredient and check your pantry for products that label it. Here’s why:
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What exactly is potassium bromate? We’ll break it down. Potassium is a chemical element that most people are very familiar with. We need potassium for brain and nerve function, osmotic balance, and to maintain electrolyte balance. It’s naturally occurring in a variety of foods such as bananas, avocados, potatoes, pistachios, and other fish, nuts, herbs, and produce.

The component that plagues this controversial ingredient is “bromate.” Bromate is any oxyanion, which in other terms means the chemical element Bromine is bonded to an oxygen atom. Bromine is a halogen element on the periodic table, and thus highly reactive and potentially lethal to biological organisms in certain quantities.
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When food scientists combined potassium with bromate, they found they created a compound that strengthens flour and helps bread puff up during baking. Also, breads containing this ingredient will have a much longer shelf-life. In most cases, the compound is used up entirely during the baking process, and won’t cause any harm if consumed. However, there are some cases in which there are residual amounts of potassium bromate remaining, and could potentially cause harmful effects to humans.
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Research has shown that potassium bromate causes thyroid and kidney tumors in rats, and has been labeled “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Many countries such as Canada, China, Peru, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the European Union have banned potassium bromate as a food additive. However, the United States has not yet banned this additive. Instead, they ask bakers to voluntarily stop using this ingredient. California has enforced a law that requires all products with this ingredient be labeled with a cancer warning.
Until the FDA banishes it, you should remain on the lookout.

What’s the Deal with Soy?

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Foodfacts.com recognizes that there are a few certain topics that seem to always cause heavy debate. Undoubtedly GMO, organic, and natural foods usually initiate some heated discussions, but another heavy subject that seems to intrigue people is Soy.

Originally, soy was praised by many people; boasting anti-cancer effects, and even the ability to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, soy became most popular among women because it was believed it would help reduce the symptoms of menopause, and help fight osteoporosis. How? In the simplest terms:

- Women produce an estrogen hormone, estradiol, which helps to maintain bone density.
- When menopause occurs, estrogen levels severely reduce, increasing the risk for reduced bone density.
- This is when soy came into play, because it naturally contains phytoestrogens, genistein and daidzein, that act as estrogen during menopause.
- Women were commonly using soy products as hormone-replacement therapy to reduce their menopause symptoms and regain bone strength.

In more recent years, we’ve been seeing quite the opposite hype about soy. Now we commonly read research and stories of soy endangering our health, rather than empowering it. After many years of women consuming more than average amounts of soy, research found that incidence of breast, ovarian, and other cancers were noticeably increasing, along with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid cancers, and reproductive difficulties. However, many still argue that soy can be included into a balanced diet with no harmful effects.
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Here are some research articles you may be interested in to learn more about the pros and cons of soy:

Metabolic effects of soy in post menopausal women. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism. Kathleen Murphy. 22.3 (Fall 2010): p105(2).

A mild favorable effect of soy protein with isoflavones on body composition–a 6-month double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial among Chinese postmenopausal women. International Journal of Obesity. Liu, S.C. Ho, Y-m Chen and Y.P. Ho. 34.2 (Feb 2010): p309(10).

The significance of soy protein and soy bioactive compounds in the prophylaxis and treatment of osteoporosis. Journal of Osteoporosis. Sa’eed Bawa. (Annual 2010)

Investigating the optimal soy protein and isoflavone intakes for women: a perspective. Women’s Health. Mark Messina. 4.4 (July 2008): p337(20).