Could Soy Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?

(US News Health) — Isoflavones — a compound found in foods such as soy milk, green tea, tofu and peanuts — may help lower blood pressure in young adults, new research suggests.

The researchers also found that isoflavones may be of particular benefit for black American adults, nearly 42 percent of whom are estimated to have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

One expert not connected to the study said there is reason to believe that isoflavones could help the heart.

Isoflavones “dilate the vessels by increasing the release of nitric oxide,” explained Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She said the new study, “brings to light a compelling dietary recommendation that can help control hypertension in younger patients.”

In the new study, investigators examined data from more than 5,000 participants in a major study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The analysis revealed that those who consumed the highest amounts of isoflavones per day (more than 2.5 milligrams [mg]) had an average 5.5 mmHg lower systolic pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) than those who consumed less than 0.33 mg of isoflavones per day.

To understand what that means to the everyday diet, an 8-ounce glass of soy milk has about 22 mg of isoflavones and 100 grams of roasted soybeans have as much as 130 mg of isoflavones, the researchers explained.

The study was to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in Chicago.


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