FDA moves to revoke soy health claim
The US Food and Drug Administration called into question Monday the authorized health claim that soy protein reduces heart disease risk.
“We are proposing a rule to revoke a health claim for soy protein and heart disease,” said a statement from Susan Mayne, director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “For the first time, we have considered it necessary to propose a rule to revoke a health claim because numerous studies published since the claim was authorized in 1999 have presented inconsistent findings on the relationship between soy protein and heart disease.”
Soy protein comes from soybeans, and some research suggests that a daily intake of soy protein may slightly lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, possibly leading to healthy-heart benefits.
“But we’ve since learned that not every way of lowering cholesterol has benefits, and some things that do lower cholesterol actually have shown harm, (and) what we know is that there was never any clinical trials ever that showed eating more soy improves heart health,” said Dr. Karol Watson, a cardiologist and director of the UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center.
Yet many Americans rely on high-quality protein like soy, said John Erdman, professor emeritus in the division of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a scientific adviser to the Soy Nutrition Institute.