Diverse Studies Confirm Health Benefits of Soyfood

Much of the research published over the past several months goes a long way towards solidifying the benefits of soyfoods as well as dispelling myths about their harmful effects. This research consists of both observational (epidemiologic) and clinical (intervention) studies and involves study participants belonging to vastly different age groups.

  • An observational study from Taiwan involving over 1,000 older individuals found that frequent soy intake was associated with a 50 percent decreased risk of cognitive decline.
  • An observational study from Japan involving almost 15,000 men found that frequent soy intake was associated with an almost 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing bladder cancer.
  • A large survey from the United States involving nearly 40,000 children confirmed that the prevalence of soy allergy is very low in comparison to other commonly consumed foods and that most children outgrow their soy allergy as they age. More specifically, by age 14-17 years, only about 2 out of 1,000 adolescents were reportedly allergic to soy protein.
  • A statistical analysis of nine clinical trials found that among individuals engaged in resistance exercise, strength and muscle mass increased in response to soy protein supplementation to the same extent as it did in response to whey protein supplementation. This analysis shows that the results of short-term studies (£4 hours) which found whey protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than soy protein don’t predict long-term changes.
  • A 6-month clinical trial involving young Chinese girls with anemia, found the daily consumption of soymilk decreased the percentage of girls with anemia by 50 percent. These results indicate soymilk is a good source of iron.
Mark Messina, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Soy Nutrition Institute

Dr. Mark Messina is a nationally recognized expert on the health effects of soy.