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nightsurfer on 2009-12-09"Eating high levels of some soy products - including tofu - may raise the risk of memory loss, research suggests.
The study focused on 719 elderly Indonesians living in urban and rural regions of Java. '
The latest study suggests phytoestrogens - in high quantity - may actually heighten the risk of dementia.
Lead researcher Professor Eef Hogervorst said previous research had linked oestrogen therapy to a doubling of dementia risk in the over-65s.
She said oestrogens - and probably phytoestrogens - tended to promote growth among cells, not necessarily a good thing in the ageing brain.
Alternatively, high doses of oestrogens might promote the damage caused to cells by particles known as free radicals.
A third theory is that damage is caused not by the tofu, but by formaldehyde, which is sometimes used in Indonesia as a preservative.
The researchers admit that more research is required to ascertain whether the same effects are found in other ethnic groups.
However, previous research has also linked high tofu consumption to an increased risk of dementia in older Japanese American men.
The researchers found high tofu consumption - at least once a day - was associated with worse memory, particularly among the over-68s. "