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Soybean inhibits progress of prostate cancer

Consuming soymilk three times a day can help in the fight against prostate cancer. A U.S. study indicated that regular soy consumption retards the progression of prostate cancer.

Mostly Western European and American men are facing prostate cancer. Chinese and Japanese men suffer much less from this disease. But when Asian men emigrate to America and take over Western eating habits, it appears that even with them the risk of prostate cancer increases rapidly.
Scientists suspect that the dietary habits play a role in the development of prostate cancer. In Asia, traditionally a lot of soya is consumed. Soya contains isoflavones, which have been the subject of many scientific studies. For the researchers of the University of Florida, this was the reason to start an investigation of the impact of the consumption of soya on the progression of prostate cancer.

The study was carried out on 20 men who were already treated for prostate cancer, but with increasing levels of PSA (an indicator of prostate cancer), in other words men with a relapse of prostate cancer. A further increase in the PSA level for these patients was to be expected. During a year, these patients drunk three times a day soymilk. After that year, the PSA level in eight men was lower than expected and even dropped in six men. In six patients no improvement was observed.
The researchers conclude that isoflavones from soybean are able to slow down the progression of prostate cancer. They call for larger studies, involving patients taking either isoflavonen or a placebo. This type of intervention studies are needed to give a more scientific impact to this observation.

Belgium is among the countries where prostate cancer is relatively widespread. In Belgium prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men.

Source: Pendleton, J.M., et al. " Phase II trial of isoflavone in prostate-specific antigen recurrent prostate cancer after previous local therapy." BMC Cancer (2008) 8:132

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