BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1829 (Published 05 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1829

Soy isoflavins have oestrogen like properties that may protect against or increase the risk of breast cancer. An investigation into the relation between isoflavone supplementation and mammographic density in postmenopausal women in the United States did not show a treatment effect on any mammographic measure but over time breast density decreased by 1.6% per year across all groups (p<0.001). Women should be reassured, say the authors, that isoflavones do not act like hormone replacement medication on breast density (Journal of Nutrition 2009;139:981-6, doi:10.3945/jn.108.102913).

Camphor is used by some ethnic groups as a natural remedy, even though in the United States camphor content is restricted to less than 11% in products intended for medicinal use. Pediatrics describes a cluster of cases of children who suffered camphor related seizures resulting from the availability of imported and illegally sold camphor products during a two week period in New York (2009;123:1269-72, doi:10.1542/peds.2008-2097). Exposure had occurred through use of the products for spiritual purposes, as a cold remedy, and for pest control. In two cases the …

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