Science Current Events | Science News |

U of I study: Soy protein alleviates symptoms of fatty liver disease

April 23, 2012

URBANA - University of Illinois scientists report that soy protein may significantly reduce fat accumulation and triglycerides in the livers of obese persons. And they've discovered why it happens: soy restores partial function of that organ's key signaling pathway.

"Almost a third of American adults have fatty liver disease, many of them without symptoms. Obesity is a key risk factor for this condition, which can lead to liver failure," said Hong Chen, a U of I assistant professor of food science and human nutrition.

Fat is metabolized in the liver, and in obese persons, the transport of fat to adipose tissue can slow down to the point that the liver becomes a dumping ground for excess fat, she said.

"When fat accumulates in an organ that's not supposed to store fat-like the liver, that organ's vital function can be dangerously compromised," she noted.

Adding soy protein, in such sources as tofu and soy yogurt, appears to alleviate some of the stress on fatty livers, she said.

Chen's study compared fat accumulation in the livers of lean and obese rats, which were assigned to either a diet containing casein, a milk-based protein, or a diet containing soy protein isolate, for 17 weeks after weaning. The researchers found that diet had no effect on the liver profiles of lean animals.

But obese rats fed soy showed a 20 percent reduction in triglycerides and overall fat accumulation in the liver, leading Chen to believe that soy protein could be used to alleviate the symptoms of fatty liver disease.

Further, the scientists discovered that soy protein isolate partially restored the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, a crucial player in fat metabolism.

"In many obese persons, there's a sort of traffic problem, and when more fat can make its way out of the liver, there is less pressure on that organ," she said.

The scientists verified the involvement of this pathway by doing in vitro cell culture studies.

Graduate student Dan Zhou found the results especially interesting because of their practical implications. "It's exciting to think that adding soy protein to their diets might help people who have fatty liver disease," she said.


The research will be presented at April's Experimental Biology meeting. Co-authors are Dan Zhou and Huan Wang of the U of I and Jeremy Davis and William Banz of Southern Illinois University. The study was funded by the Illinois Soybean Association and Solae, Inc.

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Related Soy Protein Current Events and Soy Protein News Articles

Cholesterol-lowering 'portfolio diet' also reduces blood pressure, study finds
A diet developed for reducing cholesterol also lowers blood pressure, a St. Michael's Hospital study has found.

Soybean foods may protect menopausal women against osteoporosis
Eating a diet rich in both soy protein and isoflavones can protect menopausal women from bone weakening and osteoporosis, according to the results of a preliminary study presented today at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh.

Snacking on protein can improve appetite control and diet quality in teens
Although eating high-protein, afternoon snacks can aid appetite control in adults, little information exists to guide parents on what types of snacks might benefit their adolescent children.

Diet affects pesticide resistance in honey bees
Feeding honey bees a natural diet of pollen makes them significantly more resistant to pesticides than feeding them an artificial diet, according to a team of researchers, who also found that pesticide exposure causes changes in expression of genes that are sensitive to diet and nutrition.

Soy supplementation adversely effects expression of breast cancer-related genes
Soy supplementation alters expression of genes associated with breast cancer, raising concerns that soy could have adverse effects in breast cancer, according to a new study published September 4 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Soy may help women's hearts if they start early
A diet rich in soy may help feminine hearts, but timing matters, finds a new study published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

Soy supplements appear to be safe, beneficial in diabetic men
Soy protein supplements, which contain natural estrogens, do not reduce testosterone levels in men with Type 2 diabetes who already have borderline-low testosterone, according to a new study.

Study reaffirms soy-dairy protein blend increases muscle mass
A new study published online in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows additional benefits of consuming a blend of soy and dairy proteins after resistance exercise for building muscle mass.

New meta-analysis builds on the power of whey protein for improved body composition
New research published in the March/April 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows whey protein, either as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet, may provide men and women benefits related to body composition.

Study suggests potential association between soy formula and seizures in children with autism
A University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher has detected a higher rate of seizures among children with autism who were fed infant formula containing soy protein rather than milk protein.
More Soy Protein Current Events and Soy Protein News Articles

The Great Vegan Bean Book: More than 100 Delicious Plant-Based Dishes Packed with the Kindest Protein in Town! - Includes Soy-Free and Gluten-Free Recipes! (Great Vegan Book)

The Great Vegan Bean Book: More than 100 Delicious Plant-Based Dishes Packed with the Kindest Protein in Town! - Includes Soy-Free and Gluten-Free Recipes! (Great Vegan Book)
by Kathy Hester (Author), Renée Comet (Photographer)

Garbanzo. Cannellini. Fava. Calypso. Edamame. Adzuki. It’s true: beans have the coolest names ever. But besides that, they’re also one of nature’s most perfect foods. Packed with protein, nutrients, and flavor, you might even call them a vegan’s #1 best friend (don’t worry, we won’t tell the trail mix, veggies, or French fries!).But with so much versatility and variety, where does one begin? Right inside these very pages, that’s where. In The Great Vegan Bean Book, author Kathy Hester primes you on everything you need to know about the best way to cook—and eat!—every bean you’ve ever seen (and a few you probably haven’t). From soaking times, to cooking times, to what to purée, to what to sauté, you’ll be dancing delicious circles around those legumes in no...

Protein Powder Cooking...Beyond the Shake: 200 Delicious Recipes to Supercharge Every Dish with Whey, Soy, Casein and More

Protein Powder Cooking...Beyond the Shake: 200 Delicious Recipes to Supercharge Every Dish with Whey, Soy, Casein and More
by Courtney Nielsen (Author)


The 200 quick-and-easy recipes in this book provide a clever and delicious way to supercharge your diet with protein-packed meals, snacks and desserts. Unleashing the amazing benefits of protein powder to increase energy, build muscle and boost weight loss, the recipes draw on a variety of proteins and powder flavors for tasty items such as:

•Sweet Potato Pancakes
•Peaches and Cream Smoothie
•Chocolate Banana Nut Bread
•Baked Buttery Dumplings
•Bacon and Shallot Rolls
•Quick Homemade Tomato Sauce
•Caramel Raisin Bread Pudding
•Fig Walnut Coffee Cake

Plant Protein Vision: Rice Bran Protein, Pea Protein, Soy Protein

Plant Protein Vision: Rice Bran Protein, Pea Protein, Soy Protein
by Henk Hoogenkamp (Author), Bram Roseboom (Designer)

Henk Hoogenkamp is a world-renown protein technology expert and globetrotting, trusted advisor for food companies, academies and contributor to leading food journals. During his career at FrieslandCampina (DMV), and DuPont, Hoogenkamp expanded functional protein application by pioneering sport nutrition and formulated fast food, as well as developing strategic partnerships, educated and build excellent health awareness, nutritional performance, and published 440+ articles and 12 books. Hoogenkamp is well recognized as an innovative industry-leader. His visionary skills have been instrumental in expanding functional protein performance across the globe. Henk’s acute business sense helped revolutionize both dairy and plant protein industry. Being often ahead of the curve, he is known...

DIY Vegan Protein Bars: 20 Delicious Homemade Vegan Protein Bar Recipes to Build Muscle, Burn Fat and Stay healthy (Soy Protein, Hemp Protein, Granola Protein Bars)

DIY Vegan Protein Bars: 20 Delicious Homemade Vegan Protein Bar Recipes to Build Muscle, Burn Fat and Stay healthy (Soy Protein, Hemp Protein, Granola Protein Bars)
by Project Vegan (Author)

Are you looking for a change from traditional Vegan foods with lots of Carbs and little Protein? Trying to build some Muscle while at the same time following an ethical and healthy Vegan diet? The DIY Vegan protein Bar cookbook is a must read! Containing over 20 delicious high protein Vegan recipes that will help you build healthy lean muscle in no time! This collection provides creative and delicious ways to make traditional Protein bars that happen to be homemade and 100% vegan. Most importantly, you can enjoy all of these protein packed treats without feeling guilty, because they're purely vegan and made of the healthiest, low fat ingredients. Discover the amazing world of of DIY Vegan Protein Bars Today!

The Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI) Guidebook/Cookbook

The Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI) Guidebook/Cookbook
by Tamara Field (Author)

Book by Field, Tamara

Earl Mindell's Soy Miracle Cookbook

Earl Mindell's Soy Miracle Cookbook
by Earl Mindell (Author)

The bestselling author of a variety of books on nutrition, including Earl Mindell's Vitamin Bible and Earl Mindell's Herb Bible, helps cooks learn to produce simple, delicious dishes using the whole range of soy protein products, including tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy milk.


by AuthorHouse

"I first heard of Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI) in January of 1997 at the office of a Pediatric Gastroenterologist who had just performed a procto-sigmoidoscopy and biopsy on my 7 week old son. He told me that Max’s digestive problem was MSPI and that it would be much easier for me if I stopped breastfeeding now and put him on a special formula. Of course, at that moment my head was spinning; I had finally found out the reason my son had been screaming the first 7 weeks of his life and though I wanted to continue breastfeeding I did not want to cause him anymore pain. The Doctor told me that there was a diet I could follow to continue breastfeeding, but that it was very difficult to follow. Wanting to make the best choice for my son I stopped breast-feeding that day and...

Soy Protein and Formulated Meat Products (Cabi)

Soy Protein and Formulated Meat Products (Cabi)
by H W Hoogenkamp (Author)

Soy-based foods represent a growing sector in today's food industry markets. They tend to be low in fat and high in protein and overall nutritional quality. Soy protein offers a broad spectrum of functionality and is now a key component of many processed meat products. This book provides an authoritative review of soy protein science and technology, particularly in relation to meat formulations. These topics are related to the major issues that face consumers and manufacturers, including healthy lifestyles, food safety and market dynamics. One key feature of the book is the large number of tables providing formulations for a range of products, including emulsified meats, sausage, pate, poultry- and other meat-based foods. The author has vast experience in industry and is a pioneer of the...

Soy Protein Products: Characteristics, Nutritional Aspects, and Utilization

Soy Protein Products: Characteristics, Nutritional Aspects, and Utilization
by Joseph G. Endres (Author)

This book provides an overview of the key benefits of soy protein products in an easily understood format. Soy protein, flour, concentrates, and isolates have been shown to be versatile food ingredients. The functional properties and nutritional benefits of soy protein products are fully described.

Types of Proteins: Whey, Soy, Egg, Casein, Beef, Plant, Powder & Protein Bars

Types of Proteins: Whey, Soy, Egg, Casein, Beef, Plant, Powder & Protein Bars

Proteins were first recognized as a distinct class of biological molecules in the 18th century by a scientist Antoine Fourcroy but now it is not a hidden fact that protein is the main ingredient responsible for growth, repair, and maintenance of muscles and other organs. In this eBook we will explain in detail how the different kinds of proteins act as a quick mass building ingredient along with some tips and delicious recipes.

© 2016