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This in-depth analysis concluded that soy intake is inversely associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and its findings support specific intake of tofu and natto for cardiovascular disease prevention and longevity.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the world, and it is also the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, nearly 18 million people die from cardiovascular diseases every year, accounting for more than 30% of the total number of deaths in the world. Cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity remain high, and it is a major global public health problem that needs to be solved urgently.
Soybean is a common food in the daily diet. It is rich in plant protein, isoflavones, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Soybean protein is the only complete protein derived from plants, accounting for 35% to 40% of soybean, and contains all animal protein. essential amino acids. It is most commonly used to make various soy products, extract soybean oil, brew soy sauce, and extract protein.
On March 10, 2023, researchers from the Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University and West China Hospital published an article entitled “Soy Consumption and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” in the journal Nutrients.
The study found that participants with the highest daily soy intake had a 17%, 13%, 21%, and 12% lower risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, respectively, compared with low intake. A daily intake of 26.7 grams of tofu can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 18%, and a daily intake of 11 grams of natto can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially stroke, by 17%.
In this study, the researchers meta-analyzed 29 studies, 9 articles related to diabetes, and 20 related to cardiovascular disease, including a total of 1,660,304 participants with a follow-up period of 2.5-24 years.
During the follow-up period, a total of 16521 diabetes incident events and 54213 cardiovascular disease incident and death events were recorded, including 22112 stroke events, 12906 coronary heart disease events, and 19195 other cardiovascular disease events.
An analysis of nine articles on diabetes revealed a significant inverse association between soy consumption and diabetes incidence, with participants with the highest daily soy intake having a 17% lower risk of developing diabetes compared with low intake.
An analysis of 20 articles on cardiovascular disease showed that participants with the highest daily soy intake had a 13% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 21% lower rate of coronary heart disease events, and stroke compared with low intake. The incidence of incidents decreased by 12%.
Further, the researchers analyzed the association between specific soy products and heart disease and diabetes.
Unfermented and fermented soy foods had no effect on reducing diabetes risk, however, dried soy foods were more inversely associated with incident diabetes, with risk reductions of up to 25%.
For reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, only tofu and natto can reduce the risk, while soy milk does not reduce the risk.
Through dose-response analysis, it was found that there was a non-linear significant relationship between tofu, natto, and cardiovascular disease. A daily intake of 26.7 grams of tofu can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 18%, and a daily intake of 11 grams of natto can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially stroke, by 17%.
Early studies have shown that soy protein and flavonoids, important components of soy’s active ingredients, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers said.
Additionally, animal studies using diabetic mice have shown that consumption of soy protein peptides improves muscle glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity, lowers sugar and triglyceride levels, and modulates pancreatic function.
In conclusion, this systematic review and meta-analysis found that soybean intake was inversely associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the findings support the specific intake of tofu and natto for cardiovascular disease prevention and life extension.
Soy Consumption and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2023, 15(6), 1358; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15061358