On the 8th November 2022, the Fuji Foundation for Protein Research and the Alpro Foundation, together with MyNutriWeb, held the 3rd and final symposium of the year on soy, health and nutrition.
The 3rd Symposium, entitled “ The Future of Soy for Health and Sustainability – Sharing Global Learnings” wrapped up a year of presentations and looked to the future of soy.
A group of world-leading experts shared the latest research insights on the above topic and the following is a summary of the findings.
- Recent research has found a range of functional benefits from plant nutrients (phytonutrients) found in soya beans. These offer interesting future opportunities for the novel application of soya foods for a range of important public health problems.
- Polyphenols, including soya isoflavones and their metabolites, have been shown to have selective enhancing and antibacterial effects on the gut microbiome helping to preserve a healthy gut barrier, alleviate intestinal permeability and maintain microbial balance of the gut (eubiosis).
- In addition, soya protein has beneficial physiological effects on muscle protein Soya glycinin and its derived peptides can help reduce skeletal muscle atrophy during periods of unloading stress. Soya foods may therefore have potential as functional foods for maintaining muscle health during space travel and in immobile or bed ridden older adults.
- Spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine found in the germ of the soya bean, has been shown to play a role in maintaining cognitive function and increasing dietary intakes may play a role in helping reduce cognitive decline in older adults. This suggests functional benefits from preserving the germ area in the manufacture and processing of soya foods.
- Prevalence of some mood disorders such as depression appear to be lower in countries where soya consumption is common. Animal studies suggest soya peptides may enhance tyrosine levels, acting at a molecular level in the brain to favourably influence neurotransmitter levels and reduce depression type behaviour.