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Tags: soy | liver | disease

Soy Combats Liver Disease

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 11:16 AM EDT

Chalk up another point for soy’s health benefits. New research has found soy protein – found in tofu, yogurt and other common food products -- may reduce the buildup of fat and triglycerides in the livers of obese people, cutting their risk of disease.
University of Illinois researchers reported the finding at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in San Diego this week, based on laboratory studies of rats that they said could have significant implications for human liver disease patients.
Lead researcher Hong Chen, a food scientist at the University of Illinois, said scientists 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, for 17 weeks.
While diet had no effect on the livers of lean animals, the obese rats fed soy had a 20 percent reduction in triglycerides and fat buildup in the liver, leading Chen to conclude soy protein could alleviate the symptoms of fatty liver disease in people.
"Almost a third of American adults have fatty liver disease, many of them without symptoms," Chen explained. "Obesity is a key risk factor for this condition, which can lead to liver failure."
Fat is metabolized in the liver, and it can become a “dumping ground” for excess fat in obese people, which places significant stress on the organ, researchers noted.
"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," Chen noted.

© HealthDay

Tofu, yogurt and other common food products made with soy reduce the buildup of fat in the liver.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 11:16 AM
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