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includes a Honey Mustard Tahini Spread recipe
By Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc.

With much attention on how soy can help women, many men wonder if it can help them too. The answer is an overwhelming yes. Besides helping fight heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes, soy appears to have a positive effect on male hormone-related cancers, like prostate cancer. In fact, a recent study of Seventh Day Adventists in California found that men who regularly drank at least one cup of soymilk a day, reduced their risk for prostate cancer by 70 percent.

The prostate is one of the male sex glands, located just below the bladder, partially surrounding the urethra. It makes fluid that becomes part of the semen. Cancer of the prostate is found mainly in older men. As men age, the prostate may get bigger and block the urethra or bladder, causing difficulty in urination or sexual functions. This condition can be a result of benign prostate enlargement or prostate cancer. The symptoms for both are similar. General symptoms include a weak or interrupted flow of urine; painful, burning or frequent urination, especially at night; blood in the urine, or nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States, besides cancers of the skin. They also state that prostate cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of older American men, after lung cancer. Doctors usually determine a man's prostate health by rectal examination and PSA testing. The PSA test is a diagnostic blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen the prostate gland is producing. This antigen is a small protein molecule that normally combines the seminal fluid. It is almost nonexistent in the blood stream of men without prostate cancer, but becomes persistently elevated in men with prostate cancer. The higher the PSA level, the greater the likelihood of cancer. A recent study suggested that men with a rising PSA level may benefit from ingesting soy-based products on a regular basis. During a 6-month trial, soy appeared to decrease the rise in PSA levels, compared with a placebo group.

American men are almost five times as likely to die of prostate cancer than Japanese men. According to the American Prostate Society, population studies show that Japanese men do get small prostate tumors. However, their high consumption of soy-based products, like tofu and soymilk, apparently delays the onset of cancer and slows the growth of their tumors. While they may have a relatively high incidence of latent prostate cancer, their mortality rate from this disease is infinitesimal compared to American men. Except when they immigrate to the United States and take on an American diet. Then Japanese men end up having the same death rate from prostate cancer as their American counterparts.

An examination of prostate cancer deaths in 59 countries shows that diet is strongly linked to mortality from this disease. This international study concluded that death from prostate cancer is positively associated with the affluent Western diet which is high in animal-based products, fat and alcohol consumption. Conversely, intakes of cereals, nuts, seeds, fish, soybeans and soy-based products are negatively associated with prostate cancer mortality. Researchers did not determine whether fish had a protective effect, because the men who ate the most fish also ate the most soy. Both fish and soy contain omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors. What this international study did determine was that the men who ate the most soy products were the least likely to die of prostate cancer.

Researchers found that the ingestion of animal fat (saturated fat) may increase the risk for prostate cancer, and other hormone sensitive cancers, by raising sex hormone levels. Prostate cancer is linked with testosterone levels, and is often treated by cutting the production of this hormone, either surgically or chemically. Clinical evidence points to the beneficial role of soy in reducing hormonal levels.

Researchers attribute isoflavones with soy's cancer protective effects, because they influence cell growth and regulation. Soy isoflavones tend to concentrate in prostate tissue and may prevent prostate cancer by inhibiting its growth during the initial phase of the disease. Results from a study at Harvard University Medical School indicate that soy can drastically reduce tumor growth and its spread to other organs. The substances found in soybeans appear to block the development of blood vessels (angiogenesis) needed by the tumors, causing them to starve to death.

Copyright © Monique N. Gilbert - All Rights Reserved.

To help get you started, try this easy and delicious soy recipe from my book "Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook".


5.3 ounces tofu (1/3 of a 16-ounce block firm tofu)
2 tablespoons soymilk
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt


Blend ingredients in a food processor for a full 1-2 minutes, or until it's smooth and creamy. Transfer spread into a jar and chill. Use in place of mayonnaise. (This spread also makes a wonderful dip with wholesome crackers, pita, or cut up vegetables).
Makes about 1 cup (8 ounces)

This recipe is from Monique N. Gilbert's book
Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook
(Universal Publishers, 2001
, p. 87).
Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc.

Natural Health Advocate,
Certified Personal Trainer/Fitness Counselor,
Vegetarian and Vegan Recipe Developer,
Soy Food Connoisseur,
Author, Artist and Freelance Writer

Monique began eating a whole grain, vegetable-rich diet as a child. This introduced her to a healthier way of eating and became the foundation of her dietary choices as an adult. She became a full-fledged vegetarian on Earth Day 1990. Over the years she has increased her knowledge and understanding about health and fitness, and the important role diet plays in a person's strength, vitality and longevity. Monique feels it is her mission to educate and enlighten everyone about the benefits of healthy eating and living.

If you're serious about enhancing your health and diet,
order your copy of

Virtues of Soy:
A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook

Click here to go to the
Book Description and Ordering Information page


Copyright © 2000-2011 by Monique N. Gilbert. All Rights Reserved.

Permission must be obtained to use information from this blog.

This blog is only intended to offer health information to help you understand the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is not intended to diagnose, dispense medical advise or prescribe the use of diet as a form of treatment for illness without medical approval. In the event you use this information without a health practitioner's approval, you are prescribing for yourself, which is your right. However, the publisher and author assume no responsibility.