Politi said she thinks it's too early to recommend boosting soy intake specifically for lung cancer survival reasons but she encourages people to try adding it to their diets.
"It's a good source of vegetable protein. I call it the miracle bean because it has about 30 percent of calories from protein, 30 percent from fat and 30 percent from carbohydrates. It's also high in fiber and often fortified with calcium. It's very nutritious," Politi said. "I do think soy in moderation is part of a healthy plant-based diet and I would recommend it, but not in high consumption for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner."
The study authors also said it is premature to make any dietary recommendation on the basis of this single study, which did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between soy and increased survival.
"Further investigation is warranted to confirm or refute this finding," Yang said. "We'd like to test this in other populations, too, like smokers or postmenopausal estrogen users, to answer the question of whether eating soy after diagnosis has a similar effect."
The research was supported by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and conducted by investigators at Vanderbilt University in collaboration with the Shanghai Cancer Institute and U.S. National Cancer Institute.
For more on soy and cancer, go to the American Cancer Society.
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