NMU 102 – Soy (Genistein) Improves Fatty Liver and Improves Triglycerides, Inflammation, and Free Radical Blood Markers
Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No 102 (August 30, 2018)
with Dr. James Meschino
Topic: Soy (Genistein) Improves Fatty Liver and Improves Triglycerides, Inflammation, and Free Radical Blood Markers
Source: Clinical Nutrition (journal) August 2018
I’m a big fan of the soybean. Soybeans contain unique substances called isoflavones, most notably genistein and daidzein, which have been shown to block the build up the dangerous type of testosterone in the prostate gland linked to prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. Soy isoflavones have also been shown to exert a multitude of other anti-cancer effects in the prevention of various other types of cancer. This is especially true for the soy isoflavone known as genistein. Remember that name – Genistein. Soy intake has also been shown to help lower cholesterol, especially when substituted in the diet for high-fat animal products and genistein is also a potent antioxidant.
A very important study was published in the journal Clinical Nutrition in August 2018, showing that supplementation with genistein (derived from soybeans) improved blood sugar regulation, lowered triglycerides and reduced inflammation in patients with pre-diabetes, who also had fatty liver problems (NASH – Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). These patients all had high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels and high levels of blood markers of inflammation and free radical damage (oxidative stress) at the outset of the study. The study involved 82 subjects with pre-diabetes (metabolic disorder) and fatty liver problems (NASH), half of whom ingested 250 mg of genistein as a supplement for 8 weeks, and the other half ingested a placebo, in this double-blind clinical trial. After 8 weeks the study clearly showed that the patients ingesting the genistein supplement had improved blood sugar regulation, lower triglyceride levels (blood fats), as well as lower markers of inflammation (TNF-alpha, IL-6) and less free radical damage (serum malondialdehyde – MDA). They also had a reduction in their belly fat (waist-to-hip circumference) and a decrease in their percentage body fat.
These are all remarkable outcomes from simply ingesting 250 mg of genistein each day for only 2 months. So, here is my take. It may not be necessary to ingest genistein supplements to improve all these health parameters. You can easily acquire 50-75 mg of soy isoflavones a day, on average, by regularly consuming soy and soy-based foods, such as edamame, roasted soy nuts, tofu, miso, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, soy cheeses and the like. Using these foods to replace high-fat animal protein foods (red meat, pork and dairy and goat-based cheeses) has been shown to improve blood cholesterol and is associated with a reduction in risk of certain cancers. If you do this over a long period of time you will accumulate significant benefits from soy isoflavone ingestion (including genistein) that accumulates in key body tissues. If you have fatty liver problems, and/or pre-diabetes or type2 diabetes, then also taking a genistein supplement is something you may want to consider after sharing this research study with your doctor.
I have included the study referenced in the text below.
Amant S, Effekharri MH et al. Genistein supplementation improves insulin resistance and inflammatory state in non-alcoholic fatty liver patients: A Randomized, controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition. 2018. 37;4:1210-1215. https://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(17)30202-9/fulltext
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,