Soy consumption may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), especially in women and Asians, a new meta-analysis published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice suggests.
For this meta-analysis, researchers conducted a literature search on PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase and identified 8 observational studies (6 cohort; 2 cross-sectional) with 19 reports on soy consumption and T2DM incidence and 7 reports on soy constituents and risk for T2DM.
There was a significant inverse association between soy food consumption and risk for T2DM (relative risk [RR], 0.77; 95% Cl, 0.066-0.91). Consumption of soy protein and isoflavones significantly lowered the risk for T2DM (RR, 0.88; 95%CI, 0.80-0.97). A subgroup analysis revealed that soy consumption had a significant protective effect in women (RR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.49-0.87) and Asian ethnicity (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.61-0.88) with T2DM.
According to the authors, further studies are required to determine mechanisms underlying the effects of a high soy diet and active soy compounds and to optimise dietary soy content for health benefits in human beings. Considering the fact there were limited studies in this meta-analysis, they call for future research with well-designed cohort or interventional studies to confirm the findings of this meta-analysis.