How Can Eating Soy Help People with Hypertension?

How Can Eating Soy Help People with Hypertension?

Research findings say that isoflavones may be beneficial to young adults who want to lower their blood pressure. Foods that contain isoflavones include green tea, peanuts, tofu and soy milk.

Isoflavones may be particularly helpful to black Americans, 42 percent of whom suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension.

Isoflavones benefit the heart

The director of women and heart disease in New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, said that isoflavones can increase the release of nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels. With the promising benefit of this dietary substance, it is recommended that younger patients with hypertension take foods rich in isoflavones.

Isoflavones work by increasing the enzymes that the body produces and in turn increase the nitric oxide created. This nitric oxide widens blood vessels which help lower blood pressure.

The U.S. National Institute of Health funded this research which studied the information from over 5,000 study participants.

According to the data analysis, people who took more than 2.5 milligrams of isoflavones daily had a lower systolic pressure by 5.5 mmHg on average compared to those who took isoflavones in amounts less than 0.33 mg per day.

What does the data mean?

It might help to know that there are 2 mg of isoflavones in 8-ounces of soy milk and 130 mg of isoflavones in 100 g of roasted soybeans.

The results of this study can do a lot to help the general population. In particular, this will benefit young white and black adults who can have the opportunity to lower their blood pressure with a moderate intake of dietary isoflavone.

This study can greatly benefit African-Americans knowing that they are at high risk of high blood pressure and most often have the condition early with serious end-organ damage.

By eating soy protein, for example, together with a diet high in fruits and veggies, whole grains and low-fat dairy, it’s possible for individuals to lower their systolic blood pressure by as much as 10 mmHg, so that those who are on the threshold of having high blood pressure will not end up with hypertension.

If improvement in health can be achieved through dietary or lifestyle change, it’s so much better than needing to take daily medication. This is indeed a better option for one-third of the Americans who are hypertensive and cannot control their blood pressure.

Photo credits: Soy Latte by Alpha via Flickr, CC by-sa 2.0

Categories: Health
Tags: isoflavones, soy