Goodness of SOY
reduced calcium excretion is particularly important because
the urinary calcium comes directly from the skeletal system.
Consequently, it is thought that over the course of many years,
substituting soy protein for meat protein will reduce risk of
In addition to the benefits of soy protein, soyfoods contain
a group of plant compounds called isoflavones.The soybean is
the only food to contain nutritionally relevant amounts isoflavones.
More than 600 scientific and medical papers are published annually
on these soybean components. Isoflavones are being investigated
for their ability to reduce risk of breast and prostate cancer,
coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and improve cognitive
Obviously, from a nutritional perspective it makes sense to
eat soyfoods. One of the most convenient, and healthiest ways
to do so,is to substitute soy-based meat analogues for meat.
In this way,one gets the benefits of soy, while also reducing
the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, and heteroclycic
amines, potentially harmful carcinogenic compounds that are
formed when meatis cooked(8).
The Goodness of Soy
Dr. Mark Messina
soy foods have been consumed by Southeast Asian countries
for centuries, only recently have Western consumers begun
to incorporate soy into their diet. This change in attitude
toward soy foods is attributed to two reasons.
research indicating that soy may directly reduce risk of several
chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis,
and certain forms of cancer. Second, concern that diets based
too heavily on animal products may increase risk of those
substituting soy for animal products, especially meat products,
may be especially beneficial.
quality of soy protein is similar to animal protein in that
both proteins are equally able to meet the biological requirements
for essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein)(1).
fact, recent research in older men shows that the consumption
of soy protein produces exercise-induced muscle gain similar
to that produced in response to the consumption of beef protein
soy foods don't contain the large amounts of saturated fat
and cholesterol typically found in meat products. Furthermore,
soy protein independently lowers blood cholesterol levels.
The cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein have been
formally recognized by the United States Government(3).
also suggests that when compared to animal protein, soy protein
reduces urinary calcium excretion(4) and favourably affects
Department of Agriculture. Modification of the Vegetable
Protein Products Requirements for the National School
Lunch Program, School
Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program and Child
and Adult Care Food
Program. Federal Register 2000;7 CFR Parts 210, 215, 220,
MD, Wells AM, Tarnopolsky MA, Campbell WW. Effect of protein
source on resistive-training-induced changes in body composition
size in older men. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:511-7.
and Drug Administration. Food labeling, health claims,
protein, and coronary heart disease. Fed Reg 1999;57:699-733.
NA, Brinkley L, Hill KD, Pak CY. Relationship of animal
protein-rich diet to kidney stone formation and calcium
metabolism. J Clin
Endocrinol Metab 1988;66:140-6.
P, Jones S, Dodds R, et al. Renal, metabolic and hormonal
responses to ingestion of animal and vegetable proteins.
MJ, Persky V, Setchell KD, Barnes S. Soy intake and cancer
risk: a review of the in vitro and in vivo data. Nutr
KD, Cassidy A. Dietary isoflavones: biological effects
relevance to human health. J Nutr 1999;129:758S-767S.
M. A new approach to risk estimation of food-borne
carcinogens--heterocyclic amines--based on molecular information.
Mutat Res 1999;431:3-12.
Messina has a PhD in nutrition and was a former program director
with National Cancer Institute (USA). He has organized and chaired
four international symposia on the role of soy in preventing
and treating chronic disease, owns his own consulting business,
Nutrition Matters, Inc., and is an adjunct associate professor
in the Dept. of Nutrition at Loma Linda University (Loma Linda,