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J Urol. 2009 Nov;182(5):2265-72. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2009.07.030. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Lack of an effect of high dose isoflavones in men with prostate cancer undergoing androgen deprivation therapy.

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  • 1Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.



The profound hypogonadism due to androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer results in complications such as sexual dysfunction, poor quality of life, vasomotor symptoms and altered cognition. Since estrogen is associated with cardiovascular risks, phytoestrogens are being increasingly evaluated as a potential treatment for these adverse effects. We evaluated the effects of high dose isoflavones, equivalent to that consumed by Asian populations, on the aforementioned consequences of androgen deprivation therapy.


A total of 33 men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, 12-week pilot trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive 20 gm soy protein containing 160 mg total isoflavones (17) vs taste matched placebo, that is 20 gm whole milk protein (16). The study was performed at a tertiary care center in the United States.


At baseline the groups were well matched in demographic parameters, sleep quality, cognition and overall quality of life. However, men in the isoflavone group had a higher baseline prevalence of hot flashes and poor intercourse satisfaction compared to those on placebo. At 12 weeks there were no significant differences between the 2 groups in any outcome measure.


This pilot study of high dose isoflavones in androgen deprived men showed no significant improvement in cognition, vasomotor symptoms or any other aspect of quality of life measures compared to placebo. Future studies should use variable doses of isoflavones for a longer period before ruling out beneficial isoflavone effects in this population.

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