A new study reveals more potential health benefits for soybeans and soyfoods. Specifically, compounds found in soybeans, known as isoflavones, increase artery and heart health according to a University of Hong Kong study published in the European Heart Journal. The study was conducted on patients with a history of stroke and high cholesterol. The results were measured by artery diameter and cholesterol levels.
This good news for soybean farmers and public health, but especially for Americans whose leading causes of death are heart disease (No. 1) and stroke (No. 3) according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The soybean checkoff is always looking for more new uses for soybeans,” says Jim Stillman, a soybean farmer and USB director from Emmetsburg, Iowa. “Anytime research about soybean's benefits comes out, it’s terrific news for soybean farmers.”
But possible benefits of soy don’t stop with the findings of this new study. The effects of soy isoflavones on human health has been and continues to be a hot research topic for the health community and USB.
“Isoflavones are only found in significant amounts among commonly consumed foods in soybeans,” explains Mark Messina, director of the Soy Nutrition Institute. “They are truly unique.”
USB is involved in supporting research on several different topics related to soy and human health, including a recent review of soy and cholesterol studies.
Other studies have found soy may offer other health benefits, including lessening hot flashes in menopausal women and even preventing cancer. Also, soy’s appears to increase bone density, which could be good news for those who suffer from osteoporosis.
Messina finds the research encouraging. “People are well advised to consume two servings of soyfoods a day.” A serving can be achieved by snacking on a half cup of edamame, pouring a cup of soymilk over cereal or adding a cup of soy nuts to a salad, he suggests.