Soybeans can help fight obesity, says study

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Spanish scientists demonstrated the anti-obesity properties and hepatoprotective of isoflavones, substances of plant origin found primarily in soybeans and act similarly to certain hormones that the human body secretes, as estrogens. The study, conducted by members of Ciberobn (Biomedical Research Centre Network-Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition) Foundation Imabis of Malaga, was tested in rodents and published in the December issue of the journal “British Journal of Pharmacology.”




In addition to the protective properties of soy isoflavones against weight gain, the survey also revealed his role in the activation of brown fat thermogenic and the associated reduction in hepatic steatosis (fatty liver), said the research center.

The application of isoflavones in humans could provide a new avenue of therapy for obesity using, instead of drugs, the active ingredient in soy.

The discovery reinforced the theory about the multiple health benefits of these natural substances which are also assigned for its antioxidant, anticancer properties, protective systems and crown bone.

Results in animals

The first test identifies the actions of soy isoflavones on obesity induced by diet in an animal model.

“It has been proven to decrease in weight gain, the activation of thermogenic brown adipose tissue, and reduced hepatic steatosis associated with”, said the doctor Fernando Rodriguez de Fonseca, head of the group leading the work.

The nutritional intervention was performed in 36 rats that received two different types of diet, one rich in carbohydrates and one rich in fats, which induced obesity, diabetes and fatty liver.

Subsequently, rats were treated with daidzein (one of the main types of isoflavones) for 14 days.

The main results showed that the higher the dose of daidzein in the diet, the lower weight gain and reduced the presence of hepatic fat.

This finding was associated with high levels of leptin (known as the hormone of thinness, which has among its functions to inhibit appetite) and low content of adiponectin (whose circulating levels are inversely proportional to body mass index and fat percentage body and also increase sensitivity to insulin).

The practice also found that an enzyme with a role in increased thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue after treatment with daidzein.

However, the authors stated that this study in animal models is not completely applicable to humans, since the effective doses, route of administration and different metabolism of rodents can do the results vary widely.

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