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Prostate Health Meets Soy Health

May 21, 2008
One passage into middle age for men is the dreaded prostate exam. No it's not fun but it is necessary. Prostate cancer is men's second most frequent cancer in the United States.

But one must look at the world in order to fully understand prostate cancer and men's health, in general.

Prostate cancer is a disease that is more common in certain populations. If you're an African American male living in the United States, your chances for developing prostate cancer is greater than if you are an Asian man living in Indonesia.

Due to this phenomenon, many studies have found that prostate cancer can be directly linked to diet and food choices. In fact, it is believed that an estimated 75% of all diagnosed prostate cancers could be avoided if better eating habits and dietary changes were followed.

That's a promising note for American males, so let's dive into the particulars and see why soy is so great for prostate health.

Isoflavones are plant compounds found in soy products. Isoflavones act as hormones in the human body and can actually have great effects on several bodily functions.

For example, they can help lower your cholesterol, maintain good blood glucose levels, and even help build healthy bones. But for men, they can also act as inhibitors for prostate cancer.

It is for this reason that many studies have asked why? Why is it that Asian men are more prone to avoiding prostate cancer? Why is it that the American male tends to have larger prostates in their later years their Asian counterparts?

The best found answer to this question has been diet. It is no secret that the Asian population has been eating soy for over one thousand years. Most infants and children in the Asian population will find themselves eating the 80 to 100 mg of soy per day. After a number of years, the isoflavones in their bodies will build and their chances for prostate cancer will be reduced with each bite.

One recently conducted study focused on a group of 41 patients who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. These patients were given 100 mg of an isoflavone supplement twice a day for 6 months.

Results showed a lowering of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and ultimately a slowing of the prostate cancer growth. PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. The higher the PSA level, the more likely there is cancer present.

Isoflavones are found in all soy foods. One need only drink one 8 ounce glass of soymilk per day to receive 40 mg of isoflavones. Currently there is no recommended dosage of isoflavones to help lower prostate cancer risks.

However, the FDA has recommended that a person needs approximately 25 grams of soy protein per day in order to lower cholesterol levels.

Although more studies are underway to further investigate the relationship between soy isoflavones and prostate health, preliminary studies contain a hopeful future for the male population. When it comes to lowering the risks and avoiding prostate cancer, it seems that diets high in soy have been labeled a promising ally.
About the Author
Dee Overly is an artist who discovered the health benefits of soy milk and now sells a
Soymilk Maker at www.SoymilkCrossroads.com. Stop by to grab a free Vegan recipe book and check out the blog.
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