Soy and tomato may fight prostate cancer

Together, soy and tomato may prevent prostate cancer, suggests a new study with mice.

Batman and Robin. Lone Ranger and Tonto. Tomatoes and soy. All powerful duos that fight evil. The last combo fights it in men's bodies.

Tomatoes and soy may be a powerful, cancer-fighting combo when consumed together. New research from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences found that mice fed both foods had significantly less instances of prostate cancer, even though the critters used in the study were genetically engineered to easily develop the disease. The study was published online in Cancer Prevention Research.

“In our study, we used mice that were genetically engineered to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer,” said University of Illinois food science and nutrition professor John Erdman in a release. “Even so, half the animals that had consumed tomato and soy had no cancerous lesions in the prostate at study’s end. All mice in the control group—no soy, no tomato—developed the disease.”

In a framework designed to model and early and lifelong exposure to the bioactive components in both foods, mice were fed special diets beginning when they were four weeks old, through their 18th week of life. Researchers fed the rodents one of four diets: 10 percent whole tomato powder, two percent soy germ, tomato powder and soy germ or a diet with no tomato or soy.

“Eating tomato, soy, and the combination all significantly reduced prostate cancer incidence,” said Erdman. “But the combination gave us the best results. Only 45 percent of mice fed both foods developed the disease compared to 61 percent in the tomato group, and 66 percent in the soy group.”

Holy cancer-fighting combo, Batman.

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