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Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):464S-474S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/70.3.464s.

Cardiovascular and renal benefits of dry bean and soybean intake.

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Metabolic Research Group, University of Kentucky, Lexington, and the VA Medical Center, Lexington, KY, USA.


Dry beans and soybeans are nutrient-dense, fiber-rich, and are high-quality sources of protein. Protective and therapeutic effects of both dry bean and soybean intake have been documented. Studies show that dry bean intake has the potential to decrease serum cholesterol concentrations, improve many aspects of the diabetic state, and provide metabolic benefits that aid in weight control. Soybeans are a unique source of the isoflavones genistein and diadzein, which have numerous biological functions. Soybeans and soyfoods potentially have multifaceted health-promoting effects, including cholesterol reduction, improved vascular health, preserved bone mineral density, and reduction of menopausal symptoms. Soy appears to have salutary effects on renal function, although these effects are not well understood. Whereas populations consuming high intakes of soy have lower prevalences of certain cancers, definitive experimental data are insufficient to clarify a protective role of soy. The availability of legume products and resources is increasing, incorporating dry beans and soyfoods into the diet can be practical and enjoyable. With the shift toward a more plant-based diet, dry beans and soy will be potent tools in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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