- Diabetes results when the body doesn’t properly make insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or utilize insulin (Type 2 Diabetes), thus resulting in blood sugar concentrations that are very unhealthy. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels eventually damage the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
The good news is that better Type 2 Diabetic health can often be supported with meal planning, exercise and weight loss. Clinical research evidence shows that soy is a very smart nutritional choice (1).
In a randomized, double blind, trial of dietary soy supplementation, 32 women with Type 2 diabetes received 30 grams of soy protein per day (containing 132 mg isoflavones) or placebo for 12 weeks. Soy consumption reduced fasting insulin by over 8% and insulin resistance by nearly 6.5%. Soy consumption also resulted in significantly lower values fasting insulin and insulin resistance when compared to the placebo-treated group (2).
Similar beneficial effects have been reported in postmenopausal women (3, 4). In one study, soy isoflavone consumption (100 mg/day) for 6 months reduced levels of fasting blood sugar levels by 85% and insulin by 56% (3), while the second study demonstrated that genistein consumption was associated with both a lower fasting insulin levels and a lower insulin level 2 hours after a glucose challenge (4).
Another reason that soy may support better diabetic health is because it has a low-glycemic index (i.e. it is a “Smart-Carb”) (5). Soy’s low glycemic index doesn’t cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. The most likely reason for this is that the carbohydrates typically found in soy and soy foods are broken down more slowly, therefore preventing the spikes in blood glucose often observed with high glycemic foods.
In summary, adding soy to one’s diet is a great way to “be smart” about diabetic health.
Revival Soy makes getting enough soy simple and delicious.
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health benefits of soy.
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- Bhathena SJ, Velasquez MT. Beneficial role of dietary phytoestrogens in obesity and diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2002; 76:1191-1201.
- Jayagopal, V, Albertazzi P, Kilpatrick ES, Howarth EM, Jennings PE, Hepburn DA, Atkin SL. Beneficial effects of soy phytoestrogen intake in postmenopausal women with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2002; 25:1709-1714
- Cheng S-Y, Shaw N-S, Tsai K-S, Chen C-Y. The hypoglycemic effects of soy isoflavones on postmenopausal women. Journal of Women’s Health 2004; 13:1080-1086.
- Goodman-Gruen D, Kritz-Silverstein D. Usual dietary isoflavone intake is associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors in postmenopausal women. Journal of Nutrition 2001; 131:1201-1206.
- Sydney University's Glycaemic Index Research Service. The glycaemic and insulin index values of six soy-based foods. The Glycaemic Index Report, July 2004.
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