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Soy food consumption is associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease in Chinese women.

Previous studies have demonstrated a beneficial effect of soy food intake on heart health. Many mechanisms have been formulated to explain this protective effect, such as improving of lipid profiles, lowering of blood pressure, improving vascular reactivity and inhibition of LDL cholesterol oxidation.

Xianglan and co-workers were the first to prospectively explore the effect of soy food intake on incidences of coronary heart disease among participants of the Shanghai Women's Health Study. Information on usual intake of soy foods was obtained form 64.915 women at baseline by using food-frequency questionnaire. This questionnaire covered soy foods such as tofu, soymilk, bean curd and fried bean curd.
After a period of about 2.5 years 62 new cases of coronary heart disease were reported. The researchers found a dose-dependent relationship between soy food intake and risk of total coronary heart disease. Compared with women in the lowest quartile of total soy protein intake the relative risk of coronary heart disease was 4 times lower than for women in the highest quartile of intake. Women in the highest quartile also showed a 86% lower risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction.

The authors concluded that soy food consumption was inversely associated with the risk of coronary heart disease.

Source: Soy food consumption is associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease in Chinese women. J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2874-8.

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