A diet rich in soy products, such as tofu, may lower your risk of developing heart disease, according to a NHLBI-funded study in Circulation.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 200,000 men and women participating in three NIH-funded studies (Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, Nurses’ Health Study, and Nurses’ Health Study II). Their analysis found that over a 20-year period, those who had the highest intake of isoflavone, a compound in soy products, had the lowest risk of heart disease.
The researchers said the findings suggest that tofu and other soy products could be included in an overall healthy diet to help prevent heart disease.
Not all soy products appear to protect the heart though. Soy milk wasn’t associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. But men and women who ate tofu at least once a week had a lower risk than those who ate it less than once a month. In women, the protective effect of tofu was primarily seen in younger women and older women who were postmenopausal but had not used hormone therapy.