Colon Cancer Metastasis May Be Reduced by Ingestion of Soy Peptide

Posted by Admin on October 31, 2013
A novel University of Illinois study has recently demonstrated that an injection of the soy peptide lunasin greatly lowered colon cancer metastasis in mice. Researchers are now eager to see how incorporating the compound into the animals' daily diet would impact the spread of the disease.

According to professor Elvira de Meija, this study involved providing lunasin orally at 20 mg/kg of body weight which lowered the amount of metastatic tumors by 94 percent – the number of tumors dropped from 18 to only one. This was achieved using lunasin alone; no other kind of therapy was employed.

In the initial study, lunasin injections were utilized in conjunction with the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin, which yielded strong results: a sixfold decrease in metastatic tumors found in the liver. This breakthrough led researchers to follow-up with this new study which involved experimental oral doses of the peptide.

De Meija adds that soy is a food and she wanted to the animals to eat it in its food form. Since this lunasin would be digested, the researchers needed to determine how much should be fed to the mice to achieve the necessary concentration in the bloodstream.

Using mice that had been given injections of human colon cancer cells, the researchers began by giving the animals a 8 mg/kg dose of lunasin daily, which lowered the amount of new tumors in the liver by 55 percent. They then boosted the dosage five times, at last reaching a 94 percent drop in tumors at 20 mg/kg lunasin.

The study researchers claim that eating an equivalent of 20 to 30 mg/kg of lunasin in soy foods would be difficult in terms of required servings each day. De Meija believes it could be possible if food companies began to offer lunasin-enriched soy milk or yogurt, noting that lunasin-enriched flour is already available for purchase on the market.

She adds that chronic daily exposure to lunasin could make an even larger impact in relation to cancer development and metastasis. These results were achieved in only 28 days of exposing these animals to the peptide.

There is evidence that lunasin has the capacity to accumulate in bodily tissues, most notably the livers, of animals that receive chronic exposure to this bioactive compound in soy. De Meija states that regular consumption of soy protein in the diet could be significant not only for nutrition but for cancer prevention.

The researchers are now planning to begin a year-long study that would chart lifetime lunasin exposure in transgenic mice programmed to develop colon cancer in comparison with a group that receives no lunasin.


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