A new review of human populations, animal studies, and clinical trials supports the role of soy protein to reduce cholesterol levels, and aid weight loss
According to the review by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
and the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana, say that Soy Protein also
has the added benefits of boosting bone health and aiding overall cardiovascular
health. Soy protein has received attention for its ability to lower cholesterol
and other dangerous blood fats, as well as the ability to lower blood pressure,
improve the function of blood vessel walls and the function of arteries, decrease
insulin resistance and increase weight loss in obesity.
The researchers collected results from in vitro, animal, epidemiologic, and
The review, including results from eight human studies, found that weight loss
was equivalent and, in some cases, equal when using soy protein, meal replacements,
or high protein meats (as in the Atkins Diet) at equal calorie levels.
Moreover, there was a suggestion that soy protein may decrease short-term appetite
improving management of calorie intake.
They also reviewed the evidence concerning soy isoflavones aiding diabetes by
stopping fat tissue build up and enhancing fat breakdown. Good evidence does
exist including improving blood glucose and insulin levels as a result of consuming
a soy-based diet, but studies duplicating these effects are desirable.
The review also supported reports of the cholesterol-lowering benefits of soy,
and that soy may reduce bone loss in women.
Soy is a very complex food that has many constituents especially soy protein
and soy isoflavones. "The specific soy protein components and soy constituents
that may cause these metabolic improvements are not known and it will require
more extensive experimentation to determine which components and constituents
are involved," stated the researchers. The study is published in Obesity
Reviews; the journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
Habitual consumption of soybeans and isoflavones may increase bone
mineral density in young women, suggests a new study that adds to others looking
at older women.
The small study followed young Korean women for two years, with regular and
detailed assessment of dietary intakes using 24-hour recall, supporting the
reported benefits observed previously with postmenopausal women. A recent meta-analysis
of existing studies published in the journal Clinical Nutrition reports that
doses of soy isoflavones less than 90 mg/d may improve bone density in older
women. Moreover, other studies from China have linked soy isoflavones to increases
in bone mineral density (BMD), and a recent large study in the Archives of Internal
Medicine reported that high soy consumption was linked with a 48 per cent decrease
in fractures for women who had been menopausal for less than 10 years.
The new study measured the bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine and
femur of the women (average age 22.1) three times during the two-year period
using dual x-ray absorptiometry. Song and co-workers report that every one milligram
of isoflavone intake was associated with a 0.26 per cent increase in bone mineral
density per year in the neck of the femur, and a 0.31 per cent increase in the
Ward's triangle area of the femur. The study is published in the January 2008
issue of the journal Nutrition Research.