While the jury has not quite come back with a definitive verdict, a number of studies are showing that soy may deliver promise when it comes to preventing and treating prostate cancer. While the National Cancer Institute readily points out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved this dietary supplement for treatment or prevention of the disease, researchers are turning up interesting results in regard to the use of this plant-based product.
Researchers believe that soy proteins may actually interfere with prostate cancer cells’ ability to cause inflammation and grow. In addition, some studies have shown that soy proteins combined with curcumin, the source of turmeric’s yellow color, have an even greater effect in lowering prostate-specific antigen levels.
Some of the studies have delivered mixed results:
- A 2009 review of multiple studies indicated that men who consumed large amounts of nonfermented soy had a lower risk of prostate cancer. The same could not be said for men who consumed fermented soy with regularity.
- A 2013 review found that PSA and hormone levels had no marked difference between men treated with soy and those who were not.
- A Japanese study involving men who underwent prostate cancer biopsies, but were ultimately not diagnosed, showed some benefits of soy. Men in the group who had higher PSA levels at the start of the study enjoyed a decrease in levels when taking soy.
- A clinical trial involving a test group that drank a soy supplement daily for six months showed that the treatment may have slowed the disease’s progression.
While soy may provide some benefits for those concerned about prostate cancer, it has yet to be deemed suitable for treatment by the FDA. Men who are concerned about prostate cancer or who have been diagnosed with it are urged to consult with their doctors before taking any supplements or medications. A doctor with information related to a man’s personal medical history will be in the best position to make recommendations.