Soybean is grown both as a food
crop as well as for feed and is known for numerous health benefits.
Unfortunately, soybean allergic reactions force many people to stay away from
this wonder food. Scientists have now developed a genetically modified variant
with lowered levels of a protein that causes allergy.
Soybean has piqued the interest of
many scientists across the world due to various health benefits
from consuming this bean. Some of
the latest research on soybean that made it to the headlines this year include
‘Scientists have developed a new variant of soybean with low allergy causing protein level but with health benefits intact.’
1. Soybean for skeletal muscle strength and
A research study conducted by
Hashimoto and colleagues published in The
Journal of Medical Investigation
found that supplementation with soy
food aided in preventing muscle atrophy and for skeletal strength even among
people who were bedridden.
2. Soybean lowers cholesterol
Researchers have found soybean
stimulates certain pathways in our body, which increase the uptake of LDL cholesterol
3. Soybean improves fertility
A study by Jose Vanegas and
colleagues, published in The Journal Fertility and Sterility
, found that
people who were on a soy diet showed improved chances of having a live birth
when on assisted reproductive technology (ART).
4. Soybean reduces chances of prostate cancer:
Eating soy foods have been found
to lower the risk of prostate cancer
among men. This is a boon for older
men who are at higher risk for the disease. Moreover, soy foods also aid in
controlling the spread of cancer.
5. Soybean is very good for women
This wonder bean has been found to
reduce symptoms of hot flashes and mood swings among post- menopausal
. Moreover, it improves the retention of calcium in the bones.
The benefits of soybean are
extensive, and the inclusion of this legume in the diet will boost health and
vitality. However, its use is limited by the severe allergic reaction exhibited
by some individuals.
This is mitigated by a newly
developed variant of soybean that has lowered levels of allergy-causing
proteins. This research, conducted by Monica A. Schmidt and colleagues, was
aimed at lowering factors that lead to allergy.
Soybean has many nutritional benefits
but it also consists of anti-nutritional elements
which prevent the uptake of nutrients from the blood. This required the heat
treatment of soybean, to lower such factors, before consumption, resulting in
increased energy use.
Benefits of the Genetically
Modified Soybean Variant
The new variety of soybean has the
following benefits apart from the many benefits that are available in
- Eliminates the need for heat
treatment as a seed
- Lowers the risk of
- Can be used as an
important food source
How It Was Developed
Studies have found that there are
three major soy proteins, which are contributing factors for soy allergy;
a) P34- important allergen
b) Kunitz Trypsin inhibitor (Ti)- affects
digestion of soybean
c) Lectins (Le) - affects the uptake of
nutrients from other sources of food
Soybean food allergy is not only
restricted to human but also to fish, cattle, dogs and pigs which prevent its
use as a feed.
The researchers used null genes,
or genes that do not produce these proteins, to develop a new variety of
soybean with no lectins and lowered level of Ti and P34. There are no visual
differences between the latest variant and the older versions. Scientists now
hope that as benefits of this soybean are plenty with minimal risk of allergy,
there would be increased consumption of soybean as food for humans and as feed
3. Monica A. Schmidt,
Theodore Hymowitz, Eliot M. Herman; " Breeding and characterization of soybean Triple Null;
a stack of recessive alleles of Kunitz Trypsin
Inhibitor, Soybean Agglutinin, and P34 allergen nulls"; Plant Breeding, June