Women who drink three or more bowls of miso soup per day are 40 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than women who drink less than one bowl, researchers claimed Wednesday.

A report published the same day in the U.S. Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that frequent consumption of miso soup may be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer, as isofalvones, which are abundant in soy, have proved to be effective in curbing the disease.

A group of Japanese researchers, headed by Shoichiro Tsugane of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, surveyed the amount of soy that 21,852 Japanese women aged between 40 and 59 consumed over 10 years.

According to the researchers, women who drank more than three bowls of miso soup found the incidence of breast cancer to be around 40 percent less than that of women who had one bowl, while it was 26 percent lower for those who had two bowls.

The researchers said the benefits peaked among postmenopausal women, adding that the women surveyed were from Iwate, Akita, Nagano and Okinawa prefectures.

The researchers said, however, that drinking too much miso soup could cause high blood pressure and stomach cancer, as the soup also contains a lot of salt.

Miso is made from a mixture of soybeans, salt and malted rice.

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