A stroll through almost any Australian grocery stores or pharmacy shows ample proof of the soybeans increasing role in the Aussie diet. Products such as tofu, soy milk, and soy-
based infant formula are widely available. Australian consume 3 litres per capita of soy milk per annum (Source: Tetrapak 2009) which is a nearly 50% increase from consumption estimates in 1998, it is predicted that the growth of soy consumption in Australia is going to continue steadily.
The general impression is one of certainty that both soy and isoflavones deliver many health benefits:
Prevention of cardiovascular disease: Cardiovascular disease mortality rates are lower in Asian countries where dietary patterns are very different from the Western diet, especially in Japan where the soybean has been a staple food for 5000 years. Researchers and a number of studies have linked these lower rates to the inclusion of soy products as a daily food intakes in those countries.
From the obstetrics and gynaecology aspect, isoflavones from soy products is vastly used as a treatment of menopausal symptoms for women. Isoflavones belong to a class of plant compounds known as phytoestrogen, the benefits of soy isofalvones on women’s hormonal health can clearly be seen by the relative prevalence of several conditions in Asia and the United States. For example, rates of breast cancer and endometriosis are lower in Asia.
Yet, despite two benefits, the topic on soy is still evolving. Some gastroenterologists found that soy protein might be another cause of the flat intestinal lesion base on an experiment conducted in 2011. In moderation, soy and soy products are beneficial to your health, yet it might not be what some people claim as the ‘miracle health food’.