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Soy could stop prostate cancerAccording to an article in the Biology of Reproduction, US researchers believe that soy isoflavones could help to treat baldness and could help to prevent men from developing prostate cancer. These findings could explain why Japanese men, who eat a lot of soy, rarely have prostate cancer.
Eqoul blocks dihydrotestosteroneDr Kenneth Setchell and his team at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center found that equol, a molecule derived from soy isoflavones, can limit the action of the hormone dihydrotestosterone. Equol does not limit the production of dihydrotestosterone but it does stop dihydrotestosterone form functioning.
Dihydrotestosterone is known to be a factor in the development of prostate cancer and male baldness. Equol reduces the harmful effects of dihydrotestosterone without influencing the beneficial effects of male hormones.
The study was carried out on rats which were injected with equol. They found that equol reduces the size of the prostate. When the testes of male rats were removed, there was no production of dihydrotestosterone. When the rats were injected with DHT their prostate grew. This shows a correlation between dihydrotestosterone and prostate size. When these rats were injected also with equol the prostate did not grow that much.
These findings are very important because blocking the action of dihydrotestosteron has been seen by the pharmaceutical industry as a strategy for treating prostate cancer.
This news could make tofu, soy milk, tempeh, miso soup and other soy products part of the male diet.
(Source BBC News 12 April 2004)