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Soy research forges ahead


The old news, says the University of California at Berkeley's Wellness Letter, is that soybeans are "just another item on the commodities exchange."

The latest news, the Wellness Letter says, is "Soy is good food, well worth adding to your diet."

In a report entitled "Healthy Living," the university publication said nutritional research has forged ahead so rapidly in recent years that questions have been raised about "how to tell the latest news from the old news."

Asking the question "Is soy good for you?" the Wellness Letter recommended that soy be added to diets in the form of soybeans, tofu, soy flour, and soy milk, among other products.

"Soy protein may help lower cholesterol and have anti-cancer effects," the health newsletter said.

The report noted that "food containing moderate-to-high levels of soy protein can now sport an official health label: if you eat 25 grams of soy protein in the context of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, it can help lower the risk of heart disease." The reference is to a recent decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitting soy products to cite health benefits in labelling.

The Wellness Letter, focusing on nutrition, fitness and self-care, is published by the University of California at Berkeley's School of Public Health.