Soy Substances Help Fight Obesity

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
December 9, 2011

Besides being an excellent replacement for animal protein, soy has now been identified as a great aid for people who are trying to shed weight. Substances like isoflavone, say spanish scientists help to avoid the accumulation of liver fat. The latest study found that soy has properties anti obesity and that isoflavone acts with estrogen and other hormones in the human body to limit weight gain.

The spanish study was completed at the Center for Biomedical Research Network, Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn) that belongs to the Foundation Imabis of Malaga, Spain. Experiments were conducted in rodents and the results were published in the December issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology.

But isoflavones contained in soy not only fight weight gain. The same spanish research determined that this compound also acts as an activator of  thermogenic brown fat while reducing fat in the liver. The breakthrough simply means that obese people may be treated with natural isoflavone derived from organic soy, instead of pharmaceuticals, in order to fight obesity.

The effectiveness of soy and its substance known as isoflavone for combating obesity is yet another example of how natural foods and substances not only help in the nutrition of us humans, but also reinforces the fact that those very same foods and substances are key in the treatment and prevention of disease. Substances contained in natural foods often act as antioxidants and have anticancer properties as well as protective properties of the bone and circulatory systems.

During the first test scientists observed how isoflavones acted positively in the prevention of weight gain as well as the decrease in weight in animals whose diets had been designed to make them gain considerable amounts of weight previous to the study. “Evidence of decreased weight gain, the activation of thermogenic brown adipose tissue, and reduced associated hepatic steatosis” said doctor Fernando Rodriguez de Fonseca, who heads CIBERobn, the organization that led the study.

Experiment subjects were divided into two groups. The first was fed mostly carbohydrates; the second was fed with a diet rich in fats. A total of 36 rats received the ‘treatment’ but were the ones previously fed with a fatty diet the ones that better responded to the action of isoflavone. The group of rats fed with a fat-based diet had developed diabetes and fat in the liver. After being treated with daidzen, a form of isoflavone, for 14 days the rats fed the fat diet began to show lower weight gain as well as a reduction of hepatic fat.

“This finding was associated with high levels of leptin (known as the hormone of thinness, which has among its functions to inhibit appetite) and low contents of adiponectin (whose circulating levels are inversely proportional to body mass index and body fat percentage, which also increases sensitivity to insulin).”

The experiments conducted in the spanish laboratory also found an enzyme whose role was key in the development of thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue after the rats were treated with daidzein.

The authors of the study now have a base to launch the human version of this study. Because rats and humans have a different metabolism, human experiments will have to be conducted with different amounts of isoflavone in order to obtain significant results. Scientists will also have to consider variables such as routes of administration, dosage, age, the person’s weight and lifestyle in order to turn the treatment into an effective tool to combat weight gain. As in many other experiments, failure to customize a treatment usually renders disappointing results.

About Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda is an independent publication. It does not take money from Corporations, Foundations or Non-Governmental Organizations. It provides news reports in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese to reach a larger group of readers. Our news are not guided by any ideological, political or religious interest, which allows us to keep our integrity towards the readers.

One Response to Soy Substances Help Fight Obesity

  1. Norman says:

    I have to ask whether the soy tested was the genetically altered type or natural? This is very important today, as it seems the yield is higher for the genetically altered than the natural, but also, it seems the devils in the details with said G.A. Soy, as we’re finding out with the Corn.