Does Soy Affect Testosterone In Men
Soy does not negatively affect testosterone in men. There are numerous scientific studies proving that neither soy foods nor soy protein affect hormones in men in any way.
In fact, most studies show that soy consumed in moderation has beneficial effects on mens health as well as women and children, proving theres no reason for most people to avoid soy.
The few clinical studies that show soy having a negative effect on hormones were performed on animals, mainly mice and rats.
But there was one study conducted on humans that resulted in hormonal disturbances. However, the subjects involved consumed an extraordinarily high and unrealistic amount of soy on a nutrient-deficient dietabout nine times the amount consumed by most older men .
There are foods that kill testosterone and likewise, foods that increase testosterone, but soybeans and soy food products are not one of them. Soy does not have a hidden dark side and is not a dangerous food for men.
Helps With Kidney Function
Kidneys are filters that dont let proteins pass through, but if you have kidney disease, protein may seep through, says Mache Seibel, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and author of The Estrogen Fix.
The protein in soy is cleared by your kidneys with minimal effort, he says. If you want to be kind to your kidneys, soy is a great food to include in your diet.
Isoflavones And Prostate Cancer Risk
Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which are plant-derived compounds that have similar effects on the body as the female sex hormone estrogen.
Soy and soy products such as miso, tempeh, and tofu contain the highest concentrations of isoflavones. Other dietary sources include kudzu root and potato beans.
Studies have shown that isoflavones may have varying effects on health. Some have indicated that the compounds may drive breast cancer , while others have suggested that they could benefit some women with breast cancer.
To find out whether dietary or not isoflavones influence the risk of prostate cancer, Dr. Zhang and colleagues analyzed the data of 27,004 men who were part of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial .
The team identified 2,598 prostate cancer cases among the men over a median follow-up period of 11.5 years. Of these cases, 287 were advanced prostate cancer.
As part of the trial, the men completed food frequency questionnaires. The researchers used data from these questionnaires to assess the mens intake of foods rich in isoflavones.
Compared with men who did not have isoflavones in their diet, those who did were found to be at greater risk of developing advanced prostate cancer, or cancer that has spread from the prostate gland to distant sites.
The researchers found no significant link between dietary isoflavones and the risk of non-advanced prostate cancer.
You May Like: How Do You Check For Prostate Cancer
Lowers Breast Cancer Risk
Despite soys stellar lineup of nutrients, it can get a bad rap, Kaufman says. Soy is rich in isoflavones, plant-based phytoestrogens that function like a weaker form of the female sex hormone estrogen. This has led to concerns that soy may confer similar health risks to estrogen.
Although estrogen is known to feed certain breast cancers, consumption of soy foods is actually associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, says Marisa Weiss, MD, chief medical officer and founder of Breastcancer.org and Breasthealth.org.
This lower risk is mostly seen in studies in which people are using soy as their main source of protein, rather than red or processed meats, she says. Processed and red meats, on the other hand, are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Its worth noting that most of these studies looked at soy food intake. That means soy protein powder, which wasnt examined, may not have the same benefit.
Soy foodslike edamame, soy milk, or tofu and textured soy proteinare healthy, says Dr. Weiss, who serves as the director of breast radiation oncology and breast health outreach at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. However, we dont yet know if extracted concentrated soy powders are safe, as they can be high doses of just the protein without the other healthy ingredients within soy.
Soy Links To Lower Prostate Cancer Risk Strengthened
The findings support results of four previous meta-analyses, which also found an inverse relationship between soy consumption and prostate cancer risk.
Pooled results for total soy food consumption showed a 30% risk reduction for the highest intakes compared with lowest, revealed researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The systematic review also examined the effects of soy intake based on dietary genistein and daidzein . A 10% lower PCa risk was associated with the highest intake of genistein (compared with lowest. The corresponding risk reduction for daidzein was 16%.
This evidence from observational studies shows a statistically significant association between soy consumption and decreased PCa risk. Further studies are required to support soy consumption as a prophylactic dietary approach to reduce PCa carcinogenesis, wrote senior author Professor John Erdman Jr.
Total soy isoflavone intake and circulating isoflavones levels were however unrelated to PCa risk.
Splitting soy foods into unfermented and fermented items revealed a big difference between the two categories. Unfermented foods included soy milk, tofu and soybeans while fermented soy foods included miso and natto. Although high consumption of unfermented soy products was linked to a 35% PC risk reduction, the potential benefit of consuming fermented soy was not statistically significant.
Read Also: What Is Non Aggressive Prostate Cancer
Why Is Soy Protein Bad For Men
Soybeans are not bad for men, but because of the estrogen-like ingredient isoflavones and the negative effect that high estrogen has on men, some jumped to the conclusion that soybean products are harmful, which is simply not true.
If you have concerns about your hormone levels and want to know which foods to avoid that could lower testosterone, we have information on alcohol and testosterone or you can check out what we found out about flaxseed and testosterone.
When It Comes To Your Health Is Eating Soy Bad For You Experts Explain The Types Of Soy As Well As Their Nutrition And Health Benefits Plus Learn The Truth About Common Soy Myths
Soy foods have been a staple in Asia for at least 1,500 years. These foods are increasingly popular in Canada, too, largely due to their potential health benefits and the growing number of people who are embracing a plant-based lifestyle.
Made by processing soybeans, soy can be found in many foods and drinks, including edamame , miso, soy protein, tofu, tempeh, soy cheese, nondairy yogurt, soy-based ice cream, soy milk, and more. But is soy bad for you?
By and large, soy is very, very good for youunless you have a soy allergy, says Leah Kaufman, a registered dietitian at NYU Langone Healths Weight Management Program in New York City.
Soy is low in artery-clogging cholesterol, rich in bone-building calcium, and is a complete source of protein for people who adhere to vegetarian diets. Soy is also chock full of vitamins and minerals and high in fibre, she says.
Also Check: When Should You Get Your Prostate Checked
May Reduce Menopause Symptoms
Soy is rich in isoflavones, a class of compounds also referred to as phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens, due to their ability to bind to estrogen receptors in the body.
During menopause, a womans estrogen levels naturally decrease, resulting in unpleasant symptoms, such as fatigue, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes.
For instance, research suggests that soy isoflavones may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes (
Effect Of Soy Foods And Isoflavones On Prostate Cancer
The lower incidence of prostate cancer in some Asian countries has been explained by the high consumption of soy foods in these populations .
The protective effect of soy foods against the development of prostate cancer could be the result of both hormonal and non-hormonal effect of soy foods.
The isoflavones of soybeans, genistein and daidzein, are weak hormones but also exert a cytotoxic action directed against cancer cells. In experimental studies the genistein upregulates the prostate tumor suppressor genes in the presence of ERs but not in a model with knock out of ERs .
Numerous observational and interventional studies have investigated the relationship between soy food consumption and the risk of prostate cancer.
We retrieved 14 meta-analyses by the search of PubMed using the search term prostate AND . Out of them, seven were considered for the analysis of the effect of the intake of soy foods or soy isoflavones or phytoestrogens or circulating isoflavones on the risk of prostate cancer. Another meta-analysis was included after the lecture of the previous studies. Three studies evaluated the effect of consuming soy foods or soy isoflavones, three studies the effect of phytoestrogens, one study the effect of circulating levels of isoflavones, one study the effect of both soy foods and isoflavones and the levels of circulating isoflavones and one study the results of interventional trials.
You May Like: How Long Does Prostatitis Last
What Are The Pros Of Soy
Soy and soybeans have several potential benefits to offer a person.
The primary benefit of soy that should be noted here is the plant-based protein that these foods offer. Protein is essential for all cells in the human body. When there is too little protein in the body, a person is at risk of several complications. This includes a weaker immune system.
There is little saturated fat in soy. Soy products also contain a very low amount of cholesterol. This means people with heart disease have no need to fear this source of protein.
The fiber content in soybeans also aids the digestive function. Fiber is a helpful compound that improves the health of the gastrointestinal tract. Fiber also helps a person feel fuller for longer. This makes weight maintenance easier in the long run.
Protective Effects For Other Cancers
Soy foods may reduce the risk for other cancers, too, including colon, lung, endometrial, ovarian, and prostate.
For example, the Shanghai Womens Health Study examined the diets of 444 women diagnosed with lung cancer. After adjusting for outside factors, researchers found that patients who ate the most soy cut their chances of dying from the disease by nearly half. The same was found to be true in nonsmoking Japanese men.
You May Like: How Much Does A Normal Prostate Weight
Lycopene: Questions And Answers
Lycopene is a carotenoid . It mixes with or dissolves in fats. Lycopene protects plants from light-related stress and helps them use the energy of the sun to make nutrients. Lycopene is found in fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apricots, guavas, and watermelons.
The main source of lycopene in the United States is tomato-based products. Lycopene is easier for the body to use when it is eaten in processed tomato products like tomato paste and tomato puree than in raw tomatoes.
Lycopene may be eaten in food or taken in dietary supplements.
For information on laboratory and animal studies done using lycopene, see the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements.
Population studies and clinical trials have been done to find out if lycopene can prevent or treat prostate cancer. Clinical trials have shown mixed results some studies have shown a lower risk of prostate cancer or a decrease in prostate-specific antigen level, and others have not. There is not enough evidence to know whether lycopene can prevent or treat prostate cancer.
Population and combined studies
May Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Diets rich in soy have also been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers.
For instance, one recent review of 12 studies suggests that women with high soy intakes prior to receiving a cancer diagnosis may be at a 16% lower risk of dying from the condition, compared with those with the lowest intakes .
High soy intakes pre- and post-diagnosis may also reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in postmenopausal women by up to 28%. However, this study suggests that premenopausal women may not experience the same benefit .
On the other hand, another study suggests that both pre- and postmenopausal women eating soy-rich diets may benefit from a 27% lower risk of cancer.
However, the protective benefits of soy were only observed in Asian women, while Western women appeared to experience little benefit .
Based on these studies, a proportion of women eating soy-rich diets may benefit from a lower risk of breast cancer. Still, more studies are needed to determine which women may benefit the most.
Recommended Reading: How Often Should A Man Get A Prostate Exam
Prostate Cancer Nutrition And Dietary Supplements Patient Version
On This Page
In the United States, about 1 out of every 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is the most second-most common cancer in men in the United States. CAM use among men with prostate cancer is common. Studies of why men with prostate cancer decide to use CAM show that their choice is based on medical history, beliefs about the safety and side effects of CAM compared to standard treatments, and a need to feel in control of their treatment.
Different types of research have been done to study the use of CAM in prostate cancer. These study types include the following:
CAM treatments have been studied to see if their use lowers the risk of prostate cancer, kills prostate cancer cells, or lowers the risk that cancer will come back after treatment. Most of these studies used prostate-specific antigen levels to find out whether the treatment worked. This is a weaker measure of how well the treatment works than direct measures, such as fewer new cases of prostate cancer, or smaller tumor size or lower rate of recurrence after treatment for prostate cancer.
This PDQ summary has sections about the use of specific foods and dietary supplements to prevent or treat prostate cancer:
Overview Of Cam Use In Prostate Cancer
- Men who have prostate cancer are more likely to take dietary supplements and eat certain foods than men who do not have prostate cancer.
- Men who have prostate cancer and who have healthy eating habits are more likely to take dietary supplements.
- Men who have prostate cancer use CAM treatments to help boost the immune system, improve quality of life, and lower the risk of the cancer coming back, but only half of them tell their doctors about their use of CAM.
Studies of CAM use to lower prostate cancer risk or to prevent it from coming back have shown the following:
- A study of men with a family history of prostate cancer found that over half used vitamins or other dietary supplements for prostate health or to prevent cancer.
- A study of men at a prostate cancer screening clinic found that over half took multivitamins and some took herbal supplements.
- A study of prostate cancer survivors found that up to one-third took vitamins or minerals.
You May Like: What Causes Prostate To Enlarge Mayo Clinic
May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
Several studies suggest that diets rich in soy foods may help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol .
For instance, one recent review suggests that a median intake of 25 grams of soy protein per day may help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels by around 3% .
However, the authors believe that, in practice, reductions may be larger when people eat soy protein instead of animal protein. However, more research is needed to confirm this .
Another review suggests that soy-rich diets may help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels by 23%. They may also raise HDL cholesterol by 3% and reduce triglyceride levels by around 4% .
Currently, people with existing risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, obesity, or type 2 diabetes, appear to be among those who benefit most from soy-rich diets.
In addition, minimally processed soy foods, such as soybeans, tofu, tempeh, and edamame, appear to improve cholesterol levels more than processed soy products and supplements (
May Lower Blood Sugar
One review including 17 randomized control studies the gold standard in research suggests that soy isoflavones may help slightly reduce blood sugar and insulin levels in menopausal women .
Soy isoflavones may also help lower insulin resistance, a condition in which cells no longer respond to insulin normally. Over time, insulin resistance can result in high blood sugar levels and lead to type 2 diabetes .
In addition, theres some evidence that soy protein supplements may help slightly lower blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome .
Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions, including high blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and abdominal fat, that together, tend to increase a persons risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
However, these results arent unanimous, and several studies have failed to find a strong link between soy foods and blood sugar control in healthy people and those with type 2 diabetes (
In another study, soy foods were found to offer some protection against the effects of bisphenol A , a compound found in some plastics believed to reduce fertility .
However, these findings in support of benefits for fertility arent universal.
For instance, one review suggests that ingesting 100 mg of soy isoflavones per day may reduce ovarian function and reproductive hormone levels two important fertility factors .