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Traditional soy food may lower cardiovascular disease mortality

17 Feb 2017

Eating natto, a traditional Japanese soy food that contains a potent fibrinolytic enzyme, may help reduce mortality due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), a recent population-based cohort study suggests.

During follow-up, a total of 1,678 deaths from CVD occurred, including 677 and 308 cases of stroke and ischaemic heart disease, respectively.

After control for covariates, a significant association was observed between a reduced risk of mortality from total CVD and the higher quartile of natto intake as compared with the lowest intake (hazard ratio [HR], 0.75; 95 percent CI, 0.64 to 0.88; p=0.0004 for trend).

Intakes of total soy protein, total soy isoflavone, and soy protein or soy isoflavone from soy food other than natto were not significantly associated with the risk of mortality from total CVD.

A decreased risk of mortality from total stroke was significantly associated with the highest quartiles of total soy protein (HR, 0.75; 0.57 to 0.99; p=0.03 for trend) and natto intakes (HR, 0.68; 0.52 to 0.88; p=0.0004 for trend).

In addition, a reduced risk of mortality from ischaemic stroke was significantly associated with the highest quartile of natto intake (HR, 0.67; 0.47 to 0.95; p=0.03 for trend).

Researchers recruited 13,355 male and 15,724 female Takayama Study participants (aged ≥35 years) to evaluate the association of CVD mortality with the consumption of natto, soy protein and soy isoflavones. Each participant was given a validated semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire.

Researchers ascertained deaths from CVD over 16 years.

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