Isoflavones linked to elevated risk of advanced prostate cancer in new study

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09 Nov 2017 --- An International Journal of Cancer study has linked the dietary intake of isoflavones to an elevated risk of advanced prostate cancer. Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, a family of estrogen-like compounds found in plants and are found in soybeans, kudzu root and American groundnuts. The study notes that no statistically significant associations were observed between the intake of isoflavones and non-advanced prostate cancer in the study.

Much of the previous findings related to the compounds have been positive. Soy isoflavones have previously been linked to easing the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome with improvements being seen in areas including levels of insulin resistance. Soy isoflavones have also been found to offer protection against menopausal symptoms and coronary heart disease.

During a median follow up of 11.5 years for the International Journal of Cancer study, 2,598 cases of prostate cancer (including 287 advanced cases) were identified among 27,004 men in the intervention arm of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Dietary intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire.

“Prostate cancer is a major cancer in Western countries, and its incidence rate has been remarkably increasing in Asian countries during the last several decades,” says senior author Dr. Jianjun Zhang, of the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health. “Our study offers novel evidence that dietary intake of isoflavones has different effects on advanced and non-advanced prostate cancer.”

“This observation is important for understanding the etiology and prevention of prostate cancer but needs to be confirmed in more epidemiologic studies among populations with diverse dietary habits,” Zhang concludes.

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