Soy and Health
Soy products have long been popular among Asian people for more than 5000 years. They are the quintessence of the Asian eating and drinking culture. Asians call the soybean "Wonderbean" for its high nutritional value:
- Proteins : soybeans are an excellent source of proteins. Using the Soy Wonder machine, one serving (250ml) will give you 6grams of protein. Only very recently has the FDA confirmed that an intake of 25grams of soy protein a day can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease!
- Fats : soybeans have a low percentage of saturated fat. Soybeans are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which recent studies indicate a link to reduction in heart disease and cancer.
- Minerals : the major minerals in soybeans are potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and phosphorus.
- Isoflavones : is a plant compound which exerts positive biological effects in the body. Soybeans are the only significant source of Isoflavones in the human diet.
There are clear indications that soy foods play an important role in preventing cancer. Medical research confirms soybeans as an effective antioxidant.
There are five special compounds that provide protection : protease inhibitors, phytate, pytosterol, saponin and isoflavones. In particular, isoflavones -also identified as "anti-estrogen"- protect against hormone inflicted types of cancer such as breast and prostate cancer. There appears to be a clear connection between high levels of estrogen and the high risk of breast cancer. Because isoflavones are present in soybeans in large quantities, only one serving of soyfood a day may be enough to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
It is exciting to think that by drinking Soy Wonder milk regularly we can reduce the risk of this major and often untimely killer: cancer.
It is also exciting to realize that the regular consumption of Soy Wonder milk can lead to a reduction in heart disease. Soy is completely cholesterol free and contains a low percentage of saturated fat. It is widely believed that each 1 percent reduction in cholesterol levels reduces the risk of heart disease by 2 to 3 percent.
Newest studies also attribute the isoflavone compounds in particular Genistein and Daidzein for a reduction in cholesterol levels. The soybean alone contains these two important compounds.
Symptoms of Menopause
The reduction in estrogen levels during menopause can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Most common are hot flashes and night sweats.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often prescribed to help prevent the negative health effects of menopause. However many women do not want to take HRT because of the possible increased risk of breast cancer.
Cross cultural studies found that women in Japan rarely reported the symptoms of menopause. Japan has the highest consumption of soyfoods in the world. Could soy, with their estrogenic isoflavone compounds, help to reduce these symptoms ? Numerous studies have been made since 1990 and most of them show positive results.
Studies have shown that diets high in animal protein tend to cause calcium to be leached from the bones and excreted in the urine and feces. On the other hand, protein from soybeans does not cause this to happen. Also one of the isoflavones in soybeans, daidzein, is very similar to the drug ipriflavone which is currently being used in treating osteoporosis.
There are clear indications that women eating a diet rich in soyfoods can reduce their risk of osteoporosis. This disease is a much less known problem with Asian women who consume a diet rich in soy.
United Soybean Board. Soy & Health
Frankhänel, Sabine. Soja und Gesundheit. Ernährungs-Umschau47 (2000)
Bernell, E.Baldwin. Soy - Hype or HealthThe journal of health and healing3 (2000)
Harvard Heart Letter(1998)
Anderson, J.W.,Johnstone, B.M., and Cook-Newell,M.E., Meta - analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids.New England Journal of Medicine 333 (1995)
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