Soy May be Good for Women’s Arteries
A recent study has suggested that soy, which is found most commonly in tofu, may help protect post-menopausal women from artery disease. After women go through menopause, their estrogen level drops. Researchers believe that estrogen provides some protection against heart disease. Soy products, such as tofu and tempeh, contain plant-based estrogens, or phytoestrogens. The thinking is that soy products may help make up for the estrogen lost after menopause.
Previous studies have shown that Asian populations experience lower rates of heart disease. And since soy is more common in the Asian diet, researchers have been trying to determine whether soy and heart health are connected.
The recent study results are not conclusive, however. It may be that women who consume a lot of soy have healthier habits in the first place, and this was not measured in the study. But since researchers believe there may be a connection between soy and heart health, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little tofu to your diet each week.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, August 2002.