Isoflavones found in tofu and other soy products lower the risk for coronary heart disease, according to research published in Circulation. Researchers at Harvard analyzed diet records from the Nurses’ Health Study I and II for participants free of heart disease and tracked nonfatal myocardial infarction and mortality from heart disease. Higher intakes of tofu were associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease by up to 18%, compared with lower intakes of tofu. These results were more pronounced in premenopausal women. Isoflavones may reduce the risk by binding to estrogen receptors to improve endothelial function and improve the microbiome. The authors conclude that soy products may be an effective dietary approach to coronary heart disease prevention.
Ma L, Liu G, Ding M, et al. Isoflavone intake and the risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: Results from 3 prospective cohort studies. Circulation. Published online March 23, 2020.