Soy intake is linked to reduced CHD risk

  • Ma L & al.
  • Circulation
  • 23 Mar 2020

  • curated by Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Soy intake is linked to reduced risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) in 3 large prospective cohort studies, with tofu specifically showing benefit in some populations of women.
  • Authors say that soy-based products can be part of a heart-healthy lifestyle to prevent CHD.

Why this matters

  • The association of soy intake with CHD risk has been a matter of controversy because of inconsistent evidence from earlier studies.

Key results

  • The trials collectively had 4,826,122 person-years of follow-up.
  • Intake of isoflavones, a key compound in soy, was linked to reduced CHD risk in analyses adjusted for several variables:
    • Pooled HR, highest vs lowest quintile: 0.87 (95% CI, 0.81-0.94).
  • CHD risk (pooled HRs; 95% CIs) for 1 or more servings a week vs fewer than 1 serving a month:
    • Tofu: 0.82 (0.70-0.95).
    • Soy milk: 0.87 (0.69-1.10).
  • Tofu intake was specifically associated with risk reduction in some groups of women:
    • Premenopausal women: 0.45 (0.16-1.23; Ptrend=.02).
    • Postmenopausal women not on hormone therapy: 0.51 (0.26-0.99; Ptrend=.03).
  • No associations seen for race, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, or other factors.

Study design

  • Cohorts total 168,474 women and 42,226 men participating in US prospective cohort studies.
  • Dietary information collected at baseline and by survey every 2-4 years.
  • Funding: NIH.

Limitations

  • Measurement errors of soy intake were possible.
  • Not all types of soy-based foods were included in surveys.