A new comprehensive soyfoods health and nutrition guide is now available for health professionals. The Health Effects of Soy: A Reference Guide for Health Professionals is packed with topics ranging from a multitude of health outcomes to discussion of the different types of soyfoods.
A tremendous amount of soy-related research has been conducted over the past three decades, with an average of about 2,000 papers indexed in PubMed annually. This guide, published in Frontiers in Nutrition was written by a team of soy experts including researchers and dietitians. It outlines the major themes and findings from those 30 years of research and explores how soy protein, oil, isoflavones, and other nutrients impact disease development and other health outcomes at all ages and stages of life.
Researchers have long been interested in better understanding the potential health benefits of the nutrients found in soybeans in large part because this legume and foods made from it are uniquely rich sources of isoflavones. Additionally, for decades soy protein has been established as a high-quality protein that is known to lower blood cholesterol levels. As such, soyfoods and soybean components have been the subject of an enormous amount of research. For this reason, it can be difficult for health professionals to keep abreast of the scientific literature and therefore to properly advise their clients and patients about the use of soyfoods. This newly published guide provides short synopses of the research along with brief perspectives designed specifically for those providing counsel.
For example, the authors concluded that women with a history of breast cancer can safely consume soyfoods although the evidence isn’t sufficiently robust to recommend soyfoods specifically for reducing recurrence and improving survival.
“Soy is a beneficial addition to most diets, and especially plant-based diets, so it is important that health professionals are well-versed in the health benefits soy can offer,” says Alison Duncan, PhD, RD, FDC, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, and one of the authors of this review. “It was challenging to succinctly summarize the tremendous amount of research on soy, but I am confident that this resource accomplishes this and as such, will be incredibly useful to health professionals.”
U.S. consumers say registered dietitian nutritionists and personal healthcare professionals are the most trusted sources of information about which foods to include in their diets and which to avoid. In a 2021 survey of health professionals, 67% say they view soy favorably as a healthy, nutritional choice for themselves and their patients or clients. The majority of those respondents highlighted soy’s health benefits and its status as a high-quality plant-based protein.
This guide is designed to help health professionals and their patients better understand the health benefits soy protein, oil, isoflavones, and other nutrients can offer. The Health Effects of Soy: A Reference Guide for Health Professionals is available open access in Frontiers.
Soy Nutrition Institute (SNI) Global is a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation that funds research and shares evidence-based information on the impact of soybeans and soy ingredients for human health and nutrition. For more information about the Soy Nutrition Institute Global, visit www.SNIGlobal.org.
Partially funded by the United Soybean Board