Soy protein is now recognized as the only complete protein from a plant source. That means soy protein contains all of the essential amino acids that you must get from food. These amino acids are present in just the right balance to meet your body’s need for protein. More good news – soy protein is equal in protein quality to animal proteins such as meat, milk, and egg proteins.
Scientific Research on Soy Protein
Here’s some recent clinical and demonstrative research on how soy protein has definite and positive benefits in your performance and health diets.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to diseases and conditions that affect your heart and arteries, including heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. Although CVD is a major cause of death in the United States and most developed countries, not all populations have the same degree of risk.
Compare death rates from CVD in the United States and Japan, for example, and you 11 see startling differences. CVD death rates for both men and women are more than twice as high in the United States than in Japan. The second area of interest involves soy and the effect it could have on the prevalence of several common chronic diseases. These include heart disease and some specific cancers, among others.
Epidemiology also reveals significant differences between East and West in death rates from certain cancers. Breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are the most common cancers and second leading causes of cancer death in Americans. Comparisons of death rates from these cancers in the United States and Japan show that, here again, the Japanese have a clear health advantage.
Compared with the Japanese, death rates for breast cancer are more than 2 V2 times higher in American women and death rates for prostate cancer are more than three times higher in American men.
Although there are many differences between East and West, a great deal of interest focused on diet, and specifically soy protein consumption.
On average, Americans consume only 1-3 grams of soy protein a day. The average soy protein intake in Asia, on the other hand, ranges from about 10 grams a day in China to 30-50 grams a day in Japan and Taiwan.3 As a rule, Asians average consuming 20-50 times more soy foods than Americans.
However, when Asians migrate to the West, their diets change over time. In one survey, the soyfood intake of Chinese people living in China was 10 – 15 times higher than that of Chinese people in California and Hawaii.
They found that, compared with Caucasians, breast cancer risk was about 50% lower in women born in Asia and 25% lower in American-born Asians.6 Other researchers have noted that as Japanese men move from Japan to parts of the world where prostate cancer is more common, their incidence increases.