A diet low in fat and high in soya products can protect men from prostate cancer, according to a comparison of 14 Japanese and 14 Finnish men.
Deaths from cancer of the prostate in Japan and other Asian countries are low, despite the same incidence of latent or small "non infiltrative" prostatic cancers as among Western men. It seems that the Japanese life long soya rich diet may act to prevent these latent cancers from advancing.
Researchers compared the level of isoflavonoids plant estrogens found in soya products in the blood plasma of the two groups of men, both with an average age of 54.9.
They found that although the plasma concentrations among the Japanese men varied greatly, their levels were seven to 110 times higher than among those eating an ordinary Finnish diet.
Earlier laboratory studies have shown that isoflavonoids can inhibit the growth of several types of cancer cells, say the researchers.