Washington, July 09 (ANI): A new research conducted on mice has suggested that consuming soy protein regularly might help in reducing the spread of colon cancer in humans.
After a recent University of Illinois study showed that injection of the soy peptide lunasin dramatically reduced colon cancer metastasis in mice, the researchers were eager to see how making lunasin part of the animals' daily diet would affect the spread of the disease.
Elvira de Mejia, a U of I professor of food chemistry and food toxicology said they found that giving lunasin orally at 20 mg/kg of body weight reduced the number of metastatic tumours by 94 percent.
In the first study, injections of lunasin were used in concert with the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin, yielding impressive results: a sixfold reduction in metastatic tumors to the liver.
"We learned in that study that lunasin can penetrate the cancer cell, cause cell death, and interact with at least one type of receptor in a cell that is ready to metastasize," said Vermont Dia, a postdoctoral associate in the de Mejia laboratory.
Using mice that had been injected with human colon cancer cells, the scientists began by feeding the animals 8 mg/kg of lunasin daily, which reduced the number of new tumors in the liver by 55 percent.
They increased the dose five times, at last achieving a 94 percent reduction in tumors at 20 mg/kg of lunasin.
"We were very impressed by the reduction, but the results were short of statistical significance from the control group. More animals are needed to strengthen the power of the analysis. It's a small study but very promising," de Mejia said.
The scientists said that consuming the equivalent of 20 to 30 mg/kg of lunasin in soy foods would be daunting in terms of number of servings per day.
De Mejia said that chronic daily exposure to lunasin could make an even bigger difference in terms of cancer development and metastasis. (ANI)