Score another one for the healing food known as soy. Escort it into the arena of natural cancer cures, when it is teamed with radiation therapy. A new study found that compounds in soy could enhance the effects of cancer radiotherapy. And the target was lung cancer, the toughest of them all.
Researchers found that soybeans can help the therapy be more effective, while preserving more healthy tissue. This same team had previously shown that soy isoflavones — the principal ingredient — boost the ability to radiation to kill prostate cancer cells. At the same time, isoflavones reduced damage caused by radiation to surrounding cells of normal, noncancerous tissue. This one had used soy supplements.
(P.S. Check out the article, The Hidden Benefit of Soy.)
Soy isoflavones can make cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation. They do this by slashing survival pathways activated by radiation in cancer cells — but not in normal cells. Soy packs another punch in that its antioxidant nature means it could protect healthy tissues from the toxic shock of radiation.
During the past year, this research achieved similar results in non-small cell lung cancer cells in the laboratory. Researchers investigated if these results held true in non-small cell lung tumors in mice, and found that they do. They call them “substantial” and “very promising” results. Lung cancer is the biggest killer of all tumors.
Soy supplements are not a substitute for conventional cancer treatment. Let’s be totally clear here. But doses of soy isoflavones can be controlled by a doctor or oncologist alongside radiation and can prove to have very beneficial effects. It is certainly a subject to bring up with one’s medical professional.
The next step for these researchers is showing how to maximize soy isoflavones’ ability to kill tumors and protect healthy cells during radiation therapy. This could lead to improved chemotherapy, and also helping improve the level of breathing for lung cancer patients.
In contrast to pharmaceuticals, soy is very safe, readily available, and inexpensive. Imagine if it could carry the same potential as an expensive drug?
We may as well note some of soy’s other reputed benefits here. Good evidence shows that it could help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Interesting studies have found that soy could help with menopausal symptoms, breast cancer risk, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and hay fever.