Isoflavone Rich Food for Healthy Arteries

September 26, 2008

soybeans A study published in the European Heart Journal has demonstrated the ability of isoflavones to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow in patients with atherosclerosis.

Isoflavones are naturally occurring compounds found primarily in soy products, red clover and kudzu, and to a much lesser extent in other legumes such as chickpeas.

In the 12-week study an isoflavone supplement, at a dose of 80 mg a day was administered to patients with prior ischaemic stroke in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.

The isoflavone treatment reduced serum hs-C-reactive protein (an indicator of inflammation), and improved brachial flow-mediated dilatation (blood flow).

Professor Hung-Fat Tse, head of the research team says: “At this juncture, regular isoflavone supplement might not be advocated since the benefits and side effects of long-term supplementation are still unknown.

A balanced diet is still the top priority in promoting health. Diets with higher soy content might be beneficial due to the isoflavone contents. These food products also, in general, have higher contents of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins and less saturated fat.”
1. Those with thyroid problems should limit their consumption of raw or sprouted soybeans.
2. Soy contains moderate amounts of oxalate and individuals with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should limit their intake of soy.
3. Women who have or have had estrogen-sensitive breast tumors should limit their soy intake and avoid soy isoflavone supplements.
4. Genetically modified soy and soy products should be avoided.

1. Y. Chan, K. Lau, K. Yiu, S. Li, H. Chan, D. Fong, S. Tam, C. Lau, H. Tse. Reduction of C-reactive protein with isoflavone supplement reverses endothelial dysfunction in patients with ischaemic stroke.  European Heart Journal Advance Access published online on September 23, 2008.
2. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno

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