Why soy food could reduce blood pressure

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Soy-rich diets have been associated with reduced blood pressure and protection against atherosclerosis, but the mechanisms by which soy may improve cardiac health have not been fully explored.

In a new study, researchers found that soy intake affects blood pressure by modulating the gut microbiome, the diversity of bacteria that live in the human gastrointestinal system.

They found healthy people with high soy consumption had lower levels of two bacteria groups, Prevotella and Dialister.

The research was conducted by a team at Vanderbilt University.

Prevotella was linked to increased blood pressure. People who had this bacteria type had a significantly higher BMI (body mass index) as well as more circulating markers of inflammation, but only in the absence of Dialister.

Interestingly, these heart disease risk factors were absent in people who had both bacteria groups.

This suggests that the gut microbiome is an important intermediate in the interplay between dietary soy intake and systemic metabolism, the researchers concluded.

One author of the study is Jane Ferguson, Ph.D.

The study is published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases.

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