Ankeny, Iowa, June 23,, 2015— A recent statistical analysis of the scientific literature concluded that in patients with kidney disease but not yet on dialysis, soy protein consumption leads to favorable changes in several health outcomes related to kidney function. In addition, soy helps to improve general nutritional status in patients on dialysis. Published in April 2015 in the European journal Clinical Nutrition, the analysis included 12 clinical trials on the effects of soy protein containing isoflavones in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Plant foods such as soybeans are rich in bio-active compounds called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, such as isoflavones, are thought to have important health benefits, especially in relation to providing protection against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. In fact, more than 25 years ago the U.S. National Cancer Institute began intensely investigating isoflavones for their role in preventing cancer. Since then, isoflavones have been studied for a wide range of health benefits, including kidney function. Soybeans are essentially the only commonly consumed food that contains meaningful amounts of isoflavones.
According to Mark Messina Ph.D., executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute, “Soy protein appears to place less stress on the kidneys in comparison to other proteins and lowers serum creatinine and phosphorous levels. In patients with kidney disease, serum phosphorus levels are often elevated, which can lead to an assortment of problems. That soy protein decreases phosphorus levels indicates that patients with kidney disease can benefit by consuming soyfoods.” This is good news for an increasing number of Americans because the prevalence of kidney disease is on the rise. It is one of the main complications of diabetes, the incidence of which is increasing because of the US obesity epidemic.