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Soy Might Not Prevent Prostate Cancer from Returning

Update Date: Jul 10, 2013 12:22 PM EDT

Prostate cancer is projected to afflict 238,590 men with 29,720 fatalities in 2013 according to the National Cancer Institute. Several studies have researched preventative measures for prostate cancer. In one study published in Cancer Prevention Research, researchers found that eating soy could potentially cut the incidence of prostate cancer in mouse models. Even though this study tied soy, especially when it was eaten with tomatoes, to reducing risk for prostate cancer, a newer study suggests that this relationship might not be true.

Researchers from the University of Illinois located in Chicago studied the effects of taking soy supplements for men who already received treatment for prostate cancer. The team, with lead author Maarten Bosland and colleagues recruited 177 men who just had their prostate cancers surgically removed four months before the start of this experiment. The men were randomly assigned either a soy based beverage or a placebo beverage to drink every day for around two years. The experiment lasted from July 1997 to May 2010.

The researchers stated that their study was stopped earlier than desired because they did not find any health benefits. The team found that 27 percent of the men from the soy group developed prostate cancer again. Prostate cancer was measured via prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests. The percentage of men who developed prostate cancer again in the placebo group was 30.

"When we did the analysis and there was an absolute absence of the effect, I was a little surprised. But in a way, it was good because the outcome was clear," Bosland said to Reuters Health.

The Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Dr. Eric Klein added that, "This [study] adds to the evidence that nutrition supplements really aren't beneficial."

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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