The effect of soy isoflavones on the development of intestinal neoplasia in ApcMin mouse

Cancer Lett. 1998 Aug 14;130(1-2):217-25. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(98)00139-6.


Data from epidemiological studies suggest that isoflavones in soy may have a protective effect on the development of colon cancer in humans. Therefore, we have investigated whether soy isoflavones will inhibit intestinal tumour development in Apc(Min) mice. The mice were fed a Western-type high risk diet (high fat, low fibre and calcium) containing two different isolates of soy protein as a protein source. For the control and test groups this resulted in the administration of about 16 and 475 mg of total isoflavones per kg diet, respectively. As a positive control. a third group of mice was administered a low isoflavone diet supplemented with 300 ppm sulindac. No significant differences in the incidence, multiplicity, size and distribution of intestinal tumours were observed between Min mice fed low and high isoflavone-containing diets. However, a clear reduction in the number of small intestinal tumours was observed for the sulindac diet. Thus, in contrast to epidemiological studies, our results demonstrate that high amounts of soy isoflavones present in a Western-type high risk diet do not protect against intestinal tumour development in a relevant animal model such as the Min mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Body Weight
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Colonic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / urine
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Female
  • Genistein / administration & dosage
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • Isoflavones / administration & dosage
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Soybean Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Soybean Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Sulindac / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Isoflavones
  • Soybean Proteins
  • Sulindac
  • daidzein
  • Genistein