What is the role of soy in prostate cancer risk-reduction?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: Mark A Moyad, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Soy is a rich source of the isoflavones genistein, daidzein, and equol, which have been shown to affect cell-growth pathways and angiogenesis. Isoflavones have also been shown to affect the production and metabolism of androgen and estrogens, which play an important role in the development and progression of prostate cancer.

The traditional Western diet includes minimal amounts of soy, and as a result, few epidemiologic studies that provide useful recommendations have been performed. In animal studies, isoflavones have been shown to have a beneficial effect in the prevention and reduction in the growth rate of prostate cancer.

Still, not enough data have accumulated to recommend soy products for prostate cancer prevention. However, soy can be a part of a protein-based or plant-based diet to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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