SNI Exec, Scientists Review Health Benefits of Soy At National Symposium In Chicago

 SNI Exec, Scientists Review Health Benefits of Soy At National Symposium In

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 28, 2013

CHICAGO, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Exploring research and new applications
with soy were the major focus of the 16^th Soy Symposium, sponsored by the
United Soybean Board (USB) and the Soyfoods Association of North America.


Product innovators and food industry leaders came together at the course,
which was a prelude to the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and
Food Expo in Chicago earlier this summer. Twelve presenters offered in-depth
knowledge and resources to educate attendees on the nutritional and health
benefits of soy protein, soy oil and soyfoods as well as the functionality of
soy ingredients.

Mark Messina, PhD, executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute,
discussed a variety of topics relevant to several different population groups.
Two findings applicable to postmenopausal women were especially notable. A
meta-analysis published in the journal Menopause convincingly showed soybean
isoflavones alleviate menopausal hot flashes. The analysis, which included 17
placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 1,200 women, found isoflavone
exposure statistically significantly reduced hot flash frequency and severity
by more than half. This benefit of soy is particularly important to women 50
to 55 years old, the age group for whom menopausal symptoms are most
pronounced. This is also the group most likely to reap the coronary benefits
of soy, according to research presented by Messina. A three-year clinical
trial reported that in comparison to women consuming milk protein, carotid
intima media thickness was reduced by 68 percent in women consuming 25g per
day of isoflavone-rich soy protein, which translates to about three to four
servings of soyfoods.

Regardless of the benefits, women won't consume soyfoods if they believe doing
so increases their risk of breast cancer. However, in addition to specifically
discussing the relevant clinical and epidemiologic data refuting these
concerns, Messina noted both the American Cancer Society and the American
Institute for Cancer Research have concluded breast cancer patients can safely
consume soyfoods.

Although much of the soy research conducted in recent years has focused on
menopausal women, Messina emphasized that soy has something to offer men, as
well. To this point, he described the details of a meta-analysis of
epidemiologic studies that found that among Asian men, higher soy consumption
was associated with a nearly 50 percent reduction in the risk of prostate
cancer. He reassured men they need not worry about any unwanted hormonal
effects of soy by citing the clinical trial data that overwhelmingly show soy
does not lower circulating testosterone concentrations or raise estrogen

David Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc, University of Toronto, addressed the coronary
benefits of soyfoods. His decade-long work with the portfolio diet – a
comprehensive dietary approach that dramatically lowers circulating
cholesterol concentrations – has achieved worldwide recognition. Jenkins
reviewed the role of soy protein and soyfoods in this diet. He noted that soy
protein has a direct cholesterol-lowering effect, an attribute that was first
formally recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999, and that
soyfoods can also lower blood cholesterol indirectly when replacing common
sources of protein in Western diets because the fatty acid content of the diet
will be improved as a result. Jenkins noted that as a result of these
attributes, soy is now recognized by the Canada Cardiovascular Society as a
component of a heart-healthy diet.

One of the more controversial issues involving soy, the possible hormonal
effects of soy infant formula, was addressed by Thomas Badger, PhD, director
of the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center. As part of a longitudinal study
of 600 children from birth through puberty being conducted at the center,
Badger reported no estrogenic effects have been found in children who were fed
soy formula as infants. Further, soy formula-fed infants experienced growth
and development at least as well as milk formula-fed infants.

Badger noted his study has shown "clear and significant differences" among the
three diet groups being followed: breast-fed, soy formula-fed and milk
formula-fed infants. He noted that breast-fed children scored higher than both
types of formula-fed children in terms of body weight, length, bone mineral
density and other metrics.

In regard to developments among soybean growers, Steve Poole, director of
nutrition and public relations for USB, reported on a major initiative by the
organization aimed at providing the food industry with healthy replacements
for trans fat. To this end, he discussed the movement toward the development
of high-oleic soybean oil. The industry is currently ramping up high-oleic soy
oil supplies with commercial availability next year and 9 billion pounds
available by 2023.The Soy Nutrition Institute is a private non-profit
organization dedicated to the review, analysis and support of research on soy
and health. It is funded by USB, with additional support provided by dues from
industry stakeholders, including Solae, Archer Daniels Midland, Co.,
Pharmavite, WhiteWave Foods, the Soyfoods Council and the Soyfoods Association
of North America.

For more information, or to join the Soy Nutrition Institute, call
360/379-9544 or visit

For more information, contact:

Mark Messina, Executive Director

Steve Veile, Facilitator

SOURCE The Soy Nutrition Institute

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