Soy study misunderstood

National Prostate Cancer Coalition: Soy-based products slow prostate cancer progression

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Although it may not be the most appetizing item on the menu in a man’s diet, soy does help in the fight against prostate cancer, contrary to how some are interpreting a review by the American Heart Association.

“All you have to do is look at the Asian diet where soy is a staple food,” National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) CEO Richard N. Atkins, M.D., said. “Prostate cancer rates in Asia compared to America are far lower, and soy is a primary reason for that.”

The media had initially pointed out that soy has no positive effects on cancer. However, the review says results are inconclusive, and it helps slow prostate cancer progression in genetically-engineered mice.

In addition, a number of studies by prominent researchers back up the case that soy helps ward off prostate cancer progression, including the following:

A 1999 University of Michigan study has found that soy reduces hormone levels and exhibits weak estrogen and anti-estrogen-like qualities, which promotes hormone treatment for prostate cancer.

A 2004 study from the National Cancer Institute shows phenoxodiol (a soy-based drug) significantly delays tumor progression in men suffering from late-stage hormone refractory prostate cancer.

An Australian study in 2003 shows genistein in soy slows the growth of prostate cancer, decreasing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) scores by 13 percent, and it dropped PSA scores by more than 3-points in 14 of the 70 men enrolled in the study.

“When faced with having a cheeseburger with all the fixings or a soy burger, the soy burger is the better choice for your health,” said Atkins. “Just by substitution, it keeps your weight down, helps control your cholesterol, and wards off prostate cancer progression.”

The NPCC encourages all men to screen for prostate cancer when they reach the risk age of 50 (younger if African-American or with a family history of the disease). Soy does not prevent prostate cancer, and your best bet to beat the disease is knowing your risk, PSA score and a good doctor to help you navigate the possible treatment avenues.

About the National Prostate Cancer Coalition

The National Prostate Cancer Coalition sets the standard for rapidly reducing the burden of prostate cancer on American men and their families through awareness, outreach and advocacy.

From the April 19-25, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!