Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, accounting for 15% of all cancers in men worldwide. Asian populations consume soy foods as part of a regular diet, which may contribute to the lower PCa incidence observed in these countries. This meta-analysis provides a comprehensive updated analysis that builds on previously published meta-analyses, demonstrating that soy foods and their isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) are associated with a lower risk of prostate carcinogenesis. Thirty articles were included for analysis of the potential impacts of soy food intake, isoflavone intake, and circulating isoflavone levels, on both primary and advanced PCa. Total soy food (p < 0.001), genistein (p = 0.008), daidzein (p = 0.018), and unfermented soy food (p < 0.001) intakes were significantly associated with a reduced risk of PCa. Fermented soy food intake, total isoflavone intake, and circulating isoflavones were not associated with PCa risk. Neither soy food intake nor circulating isoflavones were associated with advanced PCa risk, although very few studies currently exist to examine potential associations. Combined, 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.
Keywords: case-control; cohort; epidemiology; isoflavones; prostate cancer; soy.