Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Phytoestrogen-rich foods protect against cancer


Men who have a diet rich in soya products, beans and sunflower seeds run a much lower risk of contracting prostate cancer. New findings from Karolinska Institutet show that foods rich in phytoestrogens – plant-produced oestrogens – protect against the most common form of cancer in the western world.

Some 10,000 men develop prostate cancer in Sweden each year. Just why prostate cancer is so common is still something of a mystery, but age, ethnicity and genes are usually considered risk factors. However, several studies also show that diet also has an important part to play. Recently, scientists have become interested in the protective effect of oestrogen-like compounds in plants, or phytoestrogens. In countries like China and Japan, people ingest more of these compounds than in the west, and the incidence of prostate cancer is lower. Phytoestrogens are usually divided into two groups: lignans and isoflavones, the former being found mainly in linseed, rye, berries and vegetables, the latter in soya beans.

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics have studied the correlation between prostate cancer and phytoestrogen in a large population-based case-control study. Involving 1,499 patients between the ages of 35 and 79 with recently diagnosed prostate cancer, it is the largest study of its kind on a western population. 1,130 healthy controls were identified through a process of matching by age and place of residence. All participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their dietary habits and to take a blood test. A smaller group (209 cases and 214 controls) had the amount of the phytoestrogen enterolactone in their blood measured.

The study shows that men who had a high intake of phytoestrogen-rich food, such as beans (which offered the greatest protection), soya products, linseed, sunflower seeds, berries and peanuts, ran a 26 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. We also found that men with very low blood levels of enterolactone had a greater chance of contracting the disease.

The intake of lignans matches closely that of other western countries, the richest sources being linseed, rye bread, wheat bread, and berries. The intake was low, which can be expected as soya products are not so common in Sweden. In China, where soya beans are much more popular, one study revealed a thousand-fold higher isoflavanoid intake than in our study.

The protective effect might derive directly from the phytoestrogens alone or in combination with other substances found in the same type of food. We do not, however, recommend the intake of artificial phytoestrogen supplements, as the tablets have not been clinically tested; they also contain high concentrations and can have adverse side-effects.

The results of the study shed light on the intake of phytoestrogens in Sweden. This can be of guidance in studies of other cancer forms that the compounds can be thought to affect. The study also brings us closer to preventative measures and future treatments. Using the genetic information gathered, we will go on to study if there is an interaction between the intake of phytoestrogens from the diet and variations of certain genes in the population that influence the risk of contracting prostate cancer.

| alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>