However, more than 40 clinical trials have clearly shown that soya protein can reduce cholesterol in men and women. The effective dose of soy protein per day appears to range between 25 and 50 grams. Now initial studies show that it is also useful in fighting high blood pressure. So perhaps blood pressure and soybeans really do have interactions ...
Soybean protein lowers blood pressure
In a report from the Annals of Internal Medicine (July 2005), it seems that use of soybean protein dietary supplements may help reduce high blood pressure.
Soybean products have been commonplace in Asian diets for centuries, and soybeans, as well as its derivative products have long been available in our local health stores and supermarkets. Research has shown that food items like tofu and soymilk can reduce cholesterol levels and lower risks for cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. If we add the ability to fight high blood pressure to the list of illness and diseases that soy foods are able to combat, then we might just have a super disease killer on our hands.
In the study covered by the Annals, a group of American and Chinese researchers focused on 300 Chinese patients suffering from hypertension. One group was and given 40gms of soy protein while the second group was given wheat-based carbohydrates.
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The objective of the trial was to examine the effect of soybean protein supplementation on blood pressure in persons with pre-hypertension or Stage 1 hypertension. The results showed that Soybean protein supplementation resulted in a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. As such, increased intake of soybean protein may play an important role in preventing and treating hypertension.
So do high blood pressure and soybeans really have anything in common?
The researchers of Tulane University, New Orleans say it's unclear how soybean products might reduce blood pressure. One theory is that soy proteins widen blood vessels while helping the body do a better job of processing blood sugar.
In a related editorial, Dr. Jeffrey A. Cutler and Dr. Eva Obarzanek of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, state that the new study provides "another important link between blood pressure and dietary macronutrient intake," but add that further studies are needed before soybean supplements can be recommended to patients with high blood pressure.
Soybeans, soymilk, tofu, bean sprouts, meat substitutes, cookies and even soy-based ice cream are all commonly available. Maybe it is better that you don’t wait for the big medical institutions to start singing praises about soybeans. If you want an edge, perhaps now is the time to start making some changes to your diet. Throw in 40 minutes exercise four times a week and your high blood pressure will really take a dive.
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