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Soy May Improve Kidney and Heart Disease
Diabetes Association - Soy May Improve Kidney & Heart Disease
SR, Tappenden KA, Carson L, et al.: Isolated soy protein consumption
reduces urinary albumin excretion and improves the serum lipid profile
in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus and nephropathy. J Nutr
What is the problem and what is known about it so far?
When people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they often have
albuminuria. This means that their bodies are releasing more than
normal amounts of a protein called albumin in their urine. This is
caused by changes in the kidneys from diabetes. Finding ways to reduce
the amount of albumin in the urine is important.
Researchers wanted to know if people who ate isolated soy protein had
lower albumin levels in the urine and fats in the blood. Isolated soy
protein can be found in soy milk, soy protein powders and tofu.
Who was studied?
Thirty-four men with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 63 and 73 were
studied. Men not taking medications or who had no other conditions that
changed albumin levels were included. All the men had been diagnosed
with type 2 diabetes for at least 5 years.
How was the study done?
The men were put into three groups, which were studied for seven
months. Each group ate two different diets at different times. The men
ate isolated soy protein during one phase and ate casein (a protein
from milk) during the other. (Isolated soy protein and casein can be
mixed into foods and drinks.)
The men visited a dietitian every 2 weeks, when their weight and blood
pressure was measured.
The men also wrote down what they ate and drank for three days.
Researchers took fasting blood and urine samples six times during the
study. Fasting blood samples are taken before a person eats.
What did the researchers find?
The researchers found that isolated soy protein reduced albumin in the
urine more than casein did. It also helped increase HDL (the "good"
cholesterol). No real difference was noted in LDL (the "bad"
cholesterol) levels of the men.
What were the limitations of the study?
Some men dropped out of the study because the isolated soy protein or
the casein upset their stomachs.
What are the implications of the study?
Isolated soy protein could help prevent kidney and heart disease. This
is especially important in patients with type 2 diabetes because they
have a higher risk of getting kidney and heart disease.