Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Soy may help women's hearts if they start early


A diet rich in soy may help feminine hearts, but timing matters, finds a new study published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

Lifelong soy consumption, similar to the diet of women in Asia, produces the least atherosclerosis. Switching to a Western diet after menopause, similar to Asian migrants to North America, leads to just as much atherosclerosis as a lifelong Western diet, and switching to soy from a Western diet after menopause helps only if there isn't much atherosclerosis already.

Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, reached those conclusions based on their feeding study of cynomolgus monkeys before and after surgical menopause. They fed premenopausal monkeys a diet with protein derived mainly from animal sources or a diet with protein from high-isoflavone soybeans.

After having their ovaries removed, mimicking human menopause, one group of monkeys continued to eat a soy diet, another switched from animal protein to soy, a third group stuck with animal protein, and a fourth switched from animal protein to soy.

After 34 months, cholesterol levels were good in the monkeys who ate soy before and after menopause. And for those that switched to a soy protein diet after menopause, similar to some North American women concerned about their heart health, cholesterol levels did improve significantly (with lower total, LDL, and VLDL and higher HDL). But when it came to how much plaque progressed in the arteries, there weren't any statistically significant differences, despite trends favoring a lifelong soy diet and the switch to soy after menopause.

As far as the total amount of atherosclerosis was concerned, monkeys eating a lifelong soy diet showed a much lower proportion of complicated plaque in the arteries than the other monkeys.

There was a big advantage to a postmenopausal switch to soy for some of the monkeys, however. For those that had small plaques in the arteries at the time of menopause, the switch to soy after menopause markedly reduced the progression of plaque in the arteries.

These findings add to the similar ones from the Women's Isoflavone Soy Health (WISH) clinical trial on atherosclerosis in women after menopause, but this animal study was able to model what the effects of a soy diet or soy supplements may be, based on women's diets and heart health before menopause or very early after menopause, when artery plaques may still be small.

"This study underscores how important it is for women to get into the best cardiovascular shape they can before menopause. The healthy habits they start then will carry them through the years to come," says NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD.


The article "Beneficial effects of soy supplementation on postmenopausal atherosclerosis are dependent on pretreatment stage of plaque progression," will be published in the March 2015 print edition of Menopause.

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field—including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education—makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit

Eileen Petridis | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Menopause NAMS Soy arteries atherosclerosis cholesterol healthy monkeys pretreatment

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht ARTORG and Inselspital develop artificial pancreas
26.11.2015 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Laboratory study: Scientists from Cologne explore a new approach to prevent newborn epilepsies
24.11.2015 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Siemens to supply 126 megawatts to onshore wind power plants in Scotland

27.11.2015 | Press release

Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease

27.11.2015 | Life Sciences

Coming to a monitor near you: A defect-free, molecule-thick film

27.11.2015 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>