Association between Dietary Isoflavones in Soy and Legumes and Endometrial Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.J Acad Nutr Diet 2018; 118(4):637-651JA
Epidemiologic studies have reported conflicting findings between soy- and legume-derived dietary isoflavones and risk of endometrial cancer.
The aim of the present meta-analysis was to quantitatively investigate the association between daily intake of soy- and legume-derived isoflavones and risk of endometrial cancer.
A broad search was conducted in the following electronic databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library, the China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database, and the Chinese Biomedical Database based on combinations of the key words endometrial cancer, isoflavone, soy, and legume for epidemiologic studies that focused on relationships between dietary isoflavones and endometrial cancer risk. A fixed-effect or random-effect model was used to pool study-specific risk estimates.
A total of 13 epidemiologic studies were included in the present meta-analysis, consisting of three prospective cohort studies and 10 population-based case-control studies. The final results indicated that higher dietary isoflavone levels from soy products and legumes were associated with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer (odds ratio [OR] 0.81, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.89). Low heterogeneous bias was observed (I2=11.7%; P=0.327). Subgroup analyses were conducted based on study design, source of dietary isoflavones, and study region. When restricted to study design, dietary isoflavones from soy and legumes played a role in prevention of endometrial cancer in case-control studies (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.90). However, there did not appear to be an association between dietary isoflavones and endometrial cancer in cohort studies (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.00). Significant associations were found between dietary isoflavones from soy products (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.92) and legumes (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.96) and endometrial cancer. Dietary isoflavones were associated with reduced incidence of endometrial cancer, both in Asian countries (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.93) and non-Asian countries (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.92).
The findings suggest a weak inverse association between higher consumption of dietary isoflavones from soy products and legumes and endometrial cancer risk. However, there is still a need for large, prospective epidemiologic studies that provide a higher level of evidence to verify these findings.