Soya is good for the bones, a researcher at Polytechnic University has concluded from a recent study. A diet containing crude soya extract benefits bone health and prevents osteoporosis by enhancing bone density, according to the study on polyphenols. It also found that post-menopausal women who had a history of breast cancer could eat natural soya products to alleviate their mood swings and hot flushes without risking a cancer relapse. There has been concern that it is not safe for such women to take soya products. Findings of the research by Wong Man-sau will be presented at the third international symposium on functional food, to be hosted at the university from next Thursday until Saturday. Besides the benefits of eating tofu and drinking soya milk, the symposium will also discuss the healing effects of wine. De-alcoholised wine - which is different from grape juice - was quite new to Hongkongers despite being around for years, said Georges Halpern, a distinguished professor of pharmaceutical science at the university. Professor Halpern, who will introduce the topic of 'Wine as Medicine', suggested the anti-oxidising properties of de-alcoholised red wine had great health benefits, especially for people who drove or did not like alcohol. He said the beneficial chemicals could not be absorbed from grape juice, as opposed to red wine, where fermentation brings out the anti-oxidising polyphenols. And de-alcoholised wine was just as active in producing antioxidation effects as alcohol-rich wine, so alcohol was not necessary to achieve the benefits, Professor Halpern said. He said he had not seen de-alcoholised wine sold in Hong Kong, although it is available in the US. Professor Halpern said drinking wine as an adult could protect arteries and even prevent cancers, such as breast cancer for women and prostate cancer for men. Some 250 participants from six countries and territories will present the latest findings on plant polyphenols at the conference.