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Soya and your heart

Conversation of a candidate of medical sciences on the topic:

“Soy and your heart”
Question: Everyone knows that the main cause of death in our time is cardiovascular disease, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Soy is said to surprisingly help avoid this scenario. Is it so?

Answer: Indeed, cardiovascular diseases are one of the main causes of high mortality, a decrease in working capacity up to disability.

Currently, in our country and abroad, an intensive search is underway for methods of early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of these diseases. The successes of such an activity are obvious: the latest diagnostic equipment, highly effective drugs make it possible to identify a predisposition to the development of cardiovascular diseases, to carry out successful treatment and rehabilitation of patients.

However, the most important was, is and will be the prevention of these formidable diseases. Indeed, soy is of great value to people in this. The biological properties of soy products are well understood. According to the Institute of Nutrition RAMS, daily consumption of soy foods containing 30-40 g of soy protein has a positive effect on metabolic disorders, including. reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The reason is the amazing composition of soybeans (seeds), which has no equal among the plants of the Earth. The following soy components are most significant in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases:
1. Proteins;
2. Fats;
3. Phospholipids;
4. Isoflavones;
5. Microelements;
6. Vitamins;
7. Indigestible polysaccharides.

At the same time, there are a lot of indigestible carbohydrates in soya beans and cholesterol is completely absent.

Question: Can I have a little more detail about these significant components?

Answer: Of course, these substances and their effect on the human cardiovascular system should be described in more detail.

Soybeans contain from 30 to 50% protein, and the ratio of amino acids essential for humans is close to optimal.

Moreover, soy proteins have a pronounced hypocholesterolemic effect, i.e. lower serum cholesterol. Although the mechanism of this action is still not clear, most studies have found that soy proteins compared with animal proteins lower the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL), as in people with normal cholesterol, and in individuals with its high content (hypercholesterolemia).
The systematic consumption of protein-containing soy products leads to a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

Soy isoflavones also help reduce both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. It was noted that when using soy food products containing soy protein and isoflavones in the diet, the effect was more pronounced than when using products containing only soy protein.

Question: What are soy isoflavones and what are their benefits in addition to lowering cholesterol (if any)?

Answer: In one of our conversations (“Myths about soybeans”) I dwelled on the role of the so-called soy phytoestrogens – substances similar to female sex hormones, but not possessing the powerful action of sex hormones produced by the body of both women and men. These are isoflavones – hormone-like minor substances, which, according to the observations of domestic and foreign experts, have shown their high efficiency in the treatment and prevention of such common diseases as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis. In addition to the fact that isoflavones reduce cholesterol and blood sugar, they also improve the absorption of calcium by 15% (according to the latest data of the Institute of Nutrition RAMS). I would like to emphasize once again that the phytoestrogens (isoflavones) of soy, consumed as part of the diet recommended by the Institute of Nutrition, do not have any negative effect on the human body, but, on the contrary, bring benefits, which I spoke about.

Question: Among the significant substances of soy you noted fats and phospholipids. What is their special role?

Answer: Soy contains about 20% fat – soybean oil. Of particular importance is the high content in soybean oil of essential linolenic and linoleic fatty acids for humans (the Omega 3 and Omega 6 families, respectively) involved in removing excess cholesterol from blood serum, normalizing blood pressure, preventing and attenuating atherosclerosis, and increasing the elasticity of blood vessels. The content of linoleic fatty acid in 100 grams of soybean oil is 50.9 g, in sunflower oil – 59.8 g, in olive – 12 g. The content of linolenic fatty acid in 100 grams of soybean oil is 10.3 g, in sunflower oil it is not, in olive – traces. As you can see, the composition of soybean fats is most balanced both in content and in the ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

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