Send to

Choose Destination
J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Nov 23;64(46):8695-8709. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Soy and Gut Microbiota: Interaction and Implication for Human Health.

Author information

Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service , Beltsville, Maryland 20705, United States.
Plant Genetics Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, University of Missouri , Columbia, Missouri 65211, United States.
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland , College Park, Maryland 20742, United States.


Soy (Glycine max) is a major commodity in the United States, and soy foods are gaining popularity due to their reported health-promoting effects. In the past two decades, soy and soy bioactive components have been studied for their health-promoting/disease-preventing activities and potential mechanisms of action. Recent studies have identified gut microbiota as an important component in the human body ecosystem and possibly a critical modulator of human health. Soy foods' interaction with the gut microbiota may critically influence many aspects of human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition at different stages of life. This review summarizes current knowledge on the effects of soy foods and soy components on gut microbiota population and composition. It was found, although results vary in different studies, in general, both animal and human studies have shown that consumption of soy foods can increase the levels of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and alter the ratio between Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. These changes in microbiota are consistent with reported reductions in pathogenic bacteria populations in the gut, thereby lowering the risk of diseases and leading to beneficial effects on human health.


gut microbiota; human health; soy components; soy foods

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center