Soy supplements may offer a substantial benefit in reducing symptoms linked to diabetes, a new study suggests.
A 12-week treatment using an nutritional supplement containing S-equol significantly lowered key factors that occur in diabetes - hemoglobin A1c, LDL cholesterol and blood-vessel stiffness.
The peer-reviewed study was reported at the Women's Health 2012 Annual Congress, presented by Journal of Women's Health and the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health.
"This study is the first to provide evidence that a daily supplement of soy-based S-equol favorably change metabolic syndrome risk factors, particularly in women,” said lead researcher Belinda H. Jenks, a nutrition specialist with Pharmavite, a U.S. subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, which sponsored the study. “Because not all individuals have the ability to produce S-equol naturally after eating soy, the study results are very interesting and warrant examination in future studies."
S-equol is a compound found in whole soybeans.
Pharmavite, the makers of Nature Made vitamins and minerals and a subsidiary of Otsuka, is studying the supplement for the management of menopausal symptoms. Researchers said the new study is the first to identify S-equol's potential benefits on diabetes.