Report reveals many health benefits of soy foods


Report reveals many health benefits of soy foods According to the April issue of the Journal of Nutrition, soy products play an important role in promoting heart and bone health.

This conclusion is based on a comprehensive review of available medical literature which was presented at the 8th International Soy Symposium recently held in Tokyo.

It details studies which have shown soy protein reduces total and LDL cholesterol by approximately 5 percent, which is associated with a reduction in the risk of heart disease from 10 to 15 percent.

"The cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein are similar to those of soluble fiber and certainly relevant from a public health perspective," says Dr. Mark Messina, professor of nutrition at Loma Linda University and author of the report.

"Integrating a variety of heart-healthy foods – like soy, beans, nuts and certain vegetables – together into a healthy lifestyle is really the best approach to heart health," he adds.

Other research discussed at the symposium provided evidence that soy foods promote bone health.

One study, conducted in Italy, found women taking soy extract experienced an 8 to 9 percent increase in spinal and hip bone mineral density, whereas those a placebo saw their bone density decrease at those sites by an average of 10 percent.

According to the article, the bulk of research on the health impact of soy has been inspired by the low rate of hip fractures among Asians, a population known to have a high rate of soy consumption.


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