Prostate cancer :: Soy for prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed in men over age 45. While this disease is very common in the United States, it’s not as common in Japan or China. So, what’s the difference? What we eat could be the key to preventing prostate cancer.

Every day, Art Blumenthal has his milk. But his milk is soy milk. He hopes it will slow the growth of his prostate cancer. “Anything we can do, especially something as inexpensive as taking soy, would be a swell idea,” he says. The idea to consume soy came about after Blumenthal was part of a research study looking at soy and prostate cancer.

“Populations that consume isoflavones or soy and soy products have the lowest rate of these hormonal cancers,” registered dietician Nagi B. Kumar, Ph.D., R.D., of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., tells Ivanhoe.

Dr. Kumar says isoflavones are the key ingredient in soy for cancer patients. Her research focused on PSA level, which is an indicator of prostate cancer progression. The study shows, in 69 percent of the men taking soy, PSA levels either dropped or remained stable. Twenty percent had a three-point-reduction in just three months.

“It’s not vitamin I yet, but I predict it’s going to be vitamin isoflavones because it’s vital to prevent disease like cancer,” Dr. Kumar says. She recommends men and women eat two to three ounces of soy, two to three times a week, instead of relying on a supplement. “It’s so much easier, and the absorption, the utilization is much better as a food product than a capsule.”

“It’s not so bad to take,” Blumenthal says. “Second of all, it might help.” For something so simple, that’s a gamble he’s willing to take.

Dr. Kumar says tofu and miso are the best choices for including soy in your diet because they’re fermented and are better absorbed by the body. However, she says any soy is better than none.

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