Nutrient - Soy isoflavones may reduce obesity-related inflammation
According to a new study published in the journal Food Chemistry, isoflavones could help reduce the chronic inflammation and insulin resistance associated with obesity.
Isoflavones are found in high concentrations in fermented soya products. Recent studies suggest they can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, bone density loss and menopausal symptoms, as well as helping to protect against certain types of cancer. They have also been suggested to have potential benefits in the prevention of obesity and diabetes, both of which are associated with low-level, chronic inflammation.
Fat tissue is categorised by a high level of immune cells called macrophages, which produce inflammatory messengers. These messengers not only aggravate inflammation, but they can also interfere with the body’s ability to respond properly to the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin, increasing the risk of developing diabetes.
Previous research has shown that isoflavones can reduce the number of inflammatory messengers that macrophages send out, but until now, no one had investigated how isoflavones affect fat cells. In this new study, the researchers wanted to test the effects of three soy-derived isoflavones on the secretion of inflammatory molecules in fat cells.
Commenting on their results, the researchers stated: “The most important finding of this paper is that soy isoflavones reduced the secretion of inflammatory molecules and down-regulated the expression of several inflammatory factors.”
M Pinent et al. Isoflavones reduce inflammation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Food Chemistry. 2010. [Epub ahead of print].