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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Compound In Soy Products May Help Lower Blood Pressure

March 26, 2012

Benefit among African Americans of particular note

Soy-based food products have taken grocery store shelves by storm, and the benefits of soy are steadily beginning to emerge. Eating foods that contain isoflavones — a key compound in soy milk, tofu, green tea and even peanuts — every day may help young adults lower their blood pressure. Moreover, and for the first time, there appears to be a particular benefit for African Americans, who have hypertension prevalence rates near 42 percent, according to research presented today at the American College of Cardiology’s 61st Annual Scientific Session. The Scientific Session, the premier cardiovascular medical meeting, brings cardiovascular professionals together to further advances in the field.

“What’s unique about this study is that the results are very applicable to the general population. Our results strongly suggest a blood pressure benefit for moderate amounts of dietary isoflavone intake in young black and white adults,” said Safiya Richardson, a graduating medical student at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and the study’s lead investigator. “Our study is the first to show a benefit in African Americans, who have a higher incidence of high blood pressure, with an earlier onset and more severe end-organ damage.”

Compared to those consuming less than 0.33 mg of isoflavones per day, those reporting the most isoflavone intake (more than 2.5 mg per day) had a significantly lower systolic blood pressure (