Fermented soybean foods are associated with a lower risk of death according to a new study published in The BMJ. Soybean foods are widespread in the East, especially in Japan, where they are consumed or consumed in various forms including natto, miso, and the more famous tofu.
A team of Japanese researchers has therefore begun to study the association between all these soy products and the levels of death from any cause, including injuries. Specifically, they analyzed the data of 42,750 men and 50,165 women aged between 45 and 74 years, people from Japan. The data were related to their eating habits, lifestyle, and health status as well as any deaths involving these people who were followed for 15 years.
The researchers discovered a link between increased intake of fermented soybeans and a 10% lower risk of mortality for all causes. More specifically, researchers found a link between people who ate natto more regularly and a lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease than those who did not eat this food.
According to the researchers, fermented soy-based foods can boast more fiber, more bioactive components, and more potassium than complementary foods. The same researchers point out that this is, however, only an observational study that cannot establish a direct cause between the consumption of fermented soy foods and the aforementioned risks.
However, researchers say the following in the press release: “In this large prospective study conducted in Japan with a high rate of soy consumption, no significant association was found between total soy product intake and all causes of mortality. On the contrary, a higher intake of fermented soy products (natto and miso) was associated with a lower risk of mortality.”