Soy can help people embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Beyond Food: Soy in Supplements

Lisa Humphreys

Lisa Humphreys

United Soybean Board

Soy, one of the most researched foods in nutrition science, has transcended its traditional use as a food and found its way into a wide range of dietary supplements. These supplements offer a variety of options that help us tap into the potential of soy.

Let’s delve into some of the most common supplements made with soy: soy-based protein powders, soy isoflavones supplements and soy lecithin supplements.

Soy-based Protein Powders

There are a lot of protein powders on the shelves today, but soy-based protein powders are some of the most convenient and budget-friendly of the options. Also, soy is the only plant protein that’s comparable in quality to animal-based protein (e.g., milk, eggs, meat), which makes soy-based protein powders an ideal choice for those looking for a vegetarian or vegan protein option.

Soy protein isolate, the common ingredient in soy-based protein powders, is a dry powder that has been separated or isolated from the other components of the soybean, leaving just the protein. It supplies a high-quality, complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids. A typical serving of soy-based protein powder contains around 20-25 grams of protein!

You may enjoy soy-based protein powders by mixing them with water or milk for a quick protein shake. You can also blend them into smoothies or add them to oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, and more.

Soy Isoflavone Supplements

Soy isoflavone supplements have gained popularity over the years, thanks to their potential to address menopausal symptoms. These supplements contain isoflavones, a type of naturally occurring compound called phytoestrogens found in various plants.

Soybeans, in particular, are abundant in isoflavones. Extensive research has investigated the role of isoflavone supplements for addressing various health issues faced by post-menopausal women, including hot flashes, bone mineral density, cardiovascular health, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.

While the existing research provides support for their potential benefits, ongoing studies are crucial to unravel the exact mechanisms and fully comprehend the role soy isoflavones play in managing menopausal symptoms and related conditions. As science progresses, more research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of how soy isoflavones can enhance the well-being of women during this significant life stage.

Soy Lecithin Supplements

Soy lecithin supplements offer potential benefits to help manage cholesterol levels, promote brain health, and support optimal nerve function.

Derived from plant sources, such as soybeans, lecithin is a complex blend of essential compounds naturally found in the human body. These include phospholipids, glycolipids, and triglycerides. Notably, phospholipids serve as the primary building blocks of cell membranes, playing vital roles in cell signaling, metabolism, and overall cellular function. The brain, known for its abundant phospholipid content, particularly benefits from these compounds.

Lecithin also contains phosphatidylcholine, which is a form of choline—an indispensable nutrient crucial for neurotransmission and optimal functioning of the brain and nervous system. Further research is needed to understand the bioavailability of choline in the specific form present in lecithin. Understanding this bioavailability will contribute to unraveling the potential benefits of lecithin as a source of choline for cognitive and neural health.

The Power of Soy

With the continued use of soy in supplements, it’s clear that this humble legume has many roles across various aspects of wellbeing. Embracing the power of soy can help take you a step closer towards a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re eager to explore the world of soy-based products and create your soy shopping list, be sure to visit our Soy Products page for some inspiration and ideas.


It’s important to note that statements made by makers of supplements are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplement products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always discuss supplement use with your doctor.