Y.E.S. News

Soy Protein May Increase Osteoporosis Risk

Diet is a crucial source of necessary protein intake, and appropriate diet may reduce the need for supplements and medications to prevent osteoporosis. Many older women fail to get enough protein on a daily basis and it’s hurting their bones. One source of protein that has gained popularity is soy. In fact, many young women have adopted soy protein (vegan) diets and 25% of postmenopausal women consume less than the recommended daily requirement of protein.

A study showed that diets based exclusively on soy (vegetable) protein, rather than animal protein, may actually reduce calcium absorption. The basis for this is being studied further, but this finding raises the question of how to use soy and whether animal protein is required to maintain bone health. These results indicate that the type of protein in our diets has important long-term consequences for skeletal health, and suggests that a diet without (or low in) animal protein may not provide the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy bones.

While more research will be done in this area, it does possibly lend a little credence that too much of anything is not good for the body. We tend to hear the benefit of one supplement or food, and many dive into it not realizing other problems or side effects.

The suggested daily protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds for women over age 19. That amounts to about 55 grams of protein a day for a 150-pound woman.

While soy products such as edamame, tofu, and soy beverages are rich in bone-building protein, they contain plant compounds that may hamper calcium absorption.

The research is mixed. Some small studies show soy can cause problems with bone strength; others show that the right type of soy protects bone strength. To avoid any risk, be sure to get a lot of calcium in your diet, primarily through dairy foods or supplements.

The safest strategy is eating a diet that’s low in salt and rich in fresh and minimally processed whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Include enough calcium and vitamin D from foods, and supplements if necessary, and limit caffeine and carbonated drinks.

Resource: Exercise Etc. Inc.

Michelle’s ability to wear many hats has made her a valuable asset to the Y.E.S. Fitness team.