Heart Beat: Soy it ain't so!

Heart Beat

Soy it ain't so!

Published: April, 2006

Tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, and other foods made from soybeans don't lower cholesterol as advertised. But eating them is still good for the heart and blood vessels.

Back in 1999, the FDA let companies claim that foods containing soy protein "may reduce the risk of heart disease." The claim was based on early research showing that soy protein lowered levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. A number of solid studies done since then have tempered this finding. Eating about 50 grams of soy each day (more than half the average person's protein requirement) lowers LDL only about 3%, according to a comprehensive update of soy research by the American Heart Association's nutrition committee, published in the February 21, 2006 Circulation.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »