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How Much Should I Eat?

How Much Soy Should I Eat?

How Much Soy Should I Eat?*

This is one of the most frequent questions we get. Clearly, eating enough soy protein and isoflavones is essential to obtaining the full benefits. But getting the right amount can be difficult. A number of research studies have explored this question from two different angles. One way to approach this question is to find out how much soy is typically consumed in Asian countries where it is regularly consumed and has been for centuries. The second approach is to conduct clinical research to find out how much is enough to provide many actual benefits.

Research using the first approach has reported that typical soy consumption can vary quite dramatically in Asian countries, based on things like age, region, urban vs. rural living and more factors. A recent review paper outlined Asian soy consumption in excellent detail [1]. In Japan, soy protein consumption averages between 6 – 11 grams per day and soy isoflavone consumption averages between 25 – 50 milligrams per day. In contrast to these averages, it has been reported that some Asians consume more than 25 grams of soy protein per day and more than 100 milligrams of soy isoflavones in the aglycone form (equals more than 160 milligrams in the native glycoside form) on a daily basis.

Clinical research examining the possible health benefits of soy consumption suggests that slightly higher amounts than the reported average Asian consumption might be needed for maximum benefits. These studies suggest that the amount of soy isoflavones necessary for full benefits likely varies, depending on the health benefit sought. For example, the U.S. FDA suggests that “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease”. In 2000, an international panel of investigators met to develop a consensus for appropriate isoflavone intake [2]. For overall benefits, this consensus panel recommended the mean daily consumption of 60 – 100 mg of soy isoflavones expressed as aglycones (~100 – 160 mg expressed as native glycosides) in their opinion. Consuming amounts on the higher end of the recommendation may provide maximum benefits.

Revival soy protein shakes contain 20 grams of soy protein and ~160 milligrams of native soy isoflavones, matching the upper level recommended by the panel of researchers as well as the apparent upper level of Asian consumption.

Start enjoying the nutritional benefits of soy with Revival soy protein shakes*

1. Messina M, Nagata C, Wu AH. Estimated Asian adult soy protein and isoflavone intakes. Nutrition and Cancer 2006; 55:1-12.
2. Anderson JJB, Adlercreutz H, Barnes S, Bennink MR, Kurzer MS, Murphy P, Setchell K, Weaver CM, Hasler CM. Appropriate isoflavone food fortification levels: results of a consensus conference. Experimental Biology 2000, San Diego, CA, April 15-18, 2000