November 18, 2009
Are alternative doctors
wrong about soy?
For decades, Asian doctors have found that soy products greatly enhance the health of their patients. But in recent years, there have been reports from alternative doctors saying soy is detrimental to your health. So who is correct? I've tried to remain objective in this so you have the absolute best information available. And the most recent information suggests soy is an important food for the health of your heart.
In this new study, researchers followed 102 patients with already established heart disease. They divided the group and gave half of them a supplement of soy isoflavones (80 mg daily) for 12 weeks. Those receiving the soy had significantly improved brachial (upper arm artery) flow mediated dilation (FMD). That's a good indicator of endothelial health. Endothelial cells are the all-important inner lining of your vessels.
But that's not all. The soy also improved FMD the most in those who were most impaired at the start of the study. And isoflavone treatment reduced high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) by an average of 1.7 mg per liter. CRP is now considered a major marker of inflammation in the vascular system.
It's nice to see science supporting the Asian observations of greater health from eating soy products. I'm seeing the same thing in my own health and in my patients. As long as the soy is organic, I think it's very good for your health — and this study confirms it.
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Notice I'm not recommending the Monsanto Franken soy genetically altered products. They are not good for you. Eat organic soy products only. And remember to eat it in moderation. I don't eat soy a lot these days, preferring live foods. However, I do eat it periodically. in Alaska I ate tofu and/or miso at least 2-3 times a week, and climbed as many local mountains as the next guy. Feel free to do the same.
Yours for better health and medical freedom,
Ref: Eur Heart J, 2008 Sept 23