Soy health benefits have continuously been demonstrated by various research undertakings. Health studies have linked soy consumption to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and improved bone health.
Researchers at Washington State University are hoping to use the health benefits of soy to improve post-operative treatment of bone cancer.
Their findings are reported in the journal, Acta Biomaterialia. Their work showed that the slow release of soy-based chemical compounds resulted in a reduction in bone cancer cells. At the same time, it built up healthy cells and reduced harmful inflammation.
“There is not much research in this area of natural medicinal compounds in biomedical devices,” says one of the study’s researchers. “Using these natural medicines, one can make a difference to human health with very minimal or no side effects, although a critical issue remains composition control.”
As part of this study, the researchers used 3D printing to make patient-specific, bone-like scaffolds that included three soy compounds. Soybeans contain isoflavones, plant-derived estrogens that have been shown to impede cancer cell growth for many types of cancer without being toxic to normal cells. Isoflavones have also been shown to improve bone health and possibly prevent osteoporosis.
The report notes that one of the soybean compounds caused a 90% reduction in bone cancer cell viability in their samples after 11 days. Two other soy compounds, meanwhile, significantly improved the growth of healthy bone cells. Furthermore, using the soy compounds in animal models also reduced inflammation, which could benefit bone health as well as overall recovery.
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