A large study from the US recently published in the prestigious Circulation Journal assessed whether consuming soy products reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).
The study included over 200,000 women and men whose eating habits were followed from 1984 to 2013. They had to be free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline. During the follow-up period, 8,359 suffered from a cardiovascular disease “event”.
Analysis of results showed that isoflavone intake from tofu consumption, but not soy milk was associated with an almost 20% reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.
Results were more pronounced in women and of younger age and this may be related to a longer period of consuming soy products. In addition, it was found that people who consumed tofu regularly were also more likely to exercise and consume higher amounts of fruits and vegetables.
This study further supports FDA recommendations from 1999 that regular consumption of soy products may help in preventing heart disease. In addition, isoflavone intake has been shown to reduce "bad" cholesterol (LDL), pro-inflammatory cytokines, platelets aggregation, nitric oxide production (=improves blood vessel elasticity thus normalizing blood pressure) and more.
Source: Isoflavone Intake and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in US Men and Women - Results From 3 Prospective Cohort Studies. Le Ma et al. Circulation. 2020 141:1127–1137