Researchers found that using soy protein early in the life might prevent the chances of bone loss in later years. They have used animal models in order to confirm the results of their study.
It is a type of protein extracted from the soybeans. They are available in the market in the form of soy isolates, meaning extracted pure protein out of soy. In fact, it is used in our diets long back since the 1950s. It is often used as a dietary supplement mainly by bodybuilders. In a recent study took place in University of Arkansas researchers discovered a mighty relation of soy protein and bone loss. If someone starts using soy protein in the early period of their life, preferably during the growth phase they are likely to have less bone loss when comparing to others of the same age, on reaching late adulthood.
The FDA also granted that having 25 grams of soy protein a day along with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat, they are less likely to have heart diseases. Also, soy protein is found to decrease LDL concentration in the blood, but the claim is yet to be confirmed. Other forms of soy include concentrates, flour, beans, chunks etc.
Inside the lab
The study is one of a kind because for the first time scientists have used a live animal model in order to study the effect of soy on human beings. To understand the effect of soy protein in the human body they used female mice models. The mice were divided into two groups. One of them is fed with soy protein diet from birth to 30 ~ 55 days, which was discontinued after that and turned to a normal mice diet after that. The second group, on the other hand, was fed a normal diet from the time of birth. In order to study the osteogenic influence of soy, scientists have induced a postmenopausal bone loss in the mice and analyzed its extent. The results strongly suggested that those group who had soy protein in the first few days of their life tends to have less bone loss when compared to the control group.
Studies like this open new meadow in the science which does support facts like this. Soy was very famous in their protein content in the past, but now they stand a chance to become a crucial part in the life of children, thus it would eliminate the risk of bone loss later in adulthood. Also, the study was conducted in a live animal model, which in turn gives a more relevant result closely to that of humans. Further studies would be interested in understanding the why part of this action!
J.-R. Chen, O. P. Lazarenko, M. L. Blackburn, K. Shankar. Dietary factors during early life program bone formation in female rats. The FASEB Journal, 2016; DOI: 10.1096/fj.201600703R