Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beans & Legumes -Tofu or Bean Curd's Health Benefits and Side Effects

[Medical Advisor journals] [The world healthy foods List] [The world healthy food recipes]

Tofu or bean curd is soft white blocks made by coagulating soy milk with substance such as salt or acid or enzyne, a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein that can be made into tofu, originated from Chinese and part of East and Southeast Asian. Since it is proven to be one of many healthy foods, it become synonymous with vegetarianism and others.

Nutritional Supplements
1. Protein
2. Carbohydrate
3. Omega 3 fatty acid
4. Vitamin A
5. B vitamin
6. Magnesium
7. Sodium
8. Manganese
9. Selenium
10. Copper
11. Phosphorus
12. Calcium
13. Potassium
14. Iron
15. Isoflavones
16. Etc.

Health benefits
A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Hair loss
In the orally administered soymetide-4 (MITL), an immunostimulating peptide derived from soybean beta-conglycinin alpha' and it effect on hair loss found that PGE2, which is produced after activation of COX by soymetide-4, might suppress apoptosis of hair matrix cells and etoposide-induced alopecia by activating NF-kappaB, according to "Anti-alopecia mechanisms of soymetide-4, an immunostimulating peptide derived from soy beta-conglycinin" by Tsuruki T, Takahata K, Yoshikawa M.(a)

Metabolic syndrome
In the
assessment of the effect of low daily intake of soybeans in oxidative stress and it effects on the metabolic syndrome (MS) found that Low intake of soy protein for 90 days, besides being well tolerated by the patients, was able to improve several parameters related to the pathophysiology of MS, according to the study of "[Evaluation of the intake of a low daily amount of soybeans in oxidative stress, lipid and inflammatory profile, and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome].[Article in Portuguese] by Bahls LD, Venturini D, Scripes Nde A, Lozovoy MA, Simão TN, Simão AN, Dichi I, Morimoto HK.(b)

3. Cancer prevention
In the evaluation of Soy isoflavones and it effects on cancers found that Soy isoflavones, linked to reduced cancer risk in Asian epidemiology, may suppress cox-2 induction by activating ERbeta. In aggregate, these considerations suggest that a comprehensive lifestyle strategy targeting cox-2 expression and bioactivity may have tremendous potential for cancer prevention, according to "Minimizing the cancer-promotional activity of cox-2 as a central strategy in cancer prevention" by McCarty MF.(c)

Lung cancer
In the Comparison to lung tumor nodules treated with soy isoflavones or radiation, lung tissues from mice found that Soy isoflavones augment destruction of A549 lung tumor nodules by radiation, and also mitigate vascular damage, inflammation and fibrosis caused by radiation injury to normal lung tissue. Soy could be used as a non-toxic complementary approach to improve RT in NSCLC., according to "Soy isoflavones radiosensitize lung cancer while mitigating normal tissue injury" by Hillman GG, Singh-Gupta V, Runyan L, Yunker CK, Rakowski JT, Sarkar FH, Miller S, Gadgeel SM, Sethi S, Joiner MC, Konski AA.(d)

Body weight and glycemic control
In the investigation of
Soy isoflavones and it affects on plasma lipids, body weight, and insulin action, found that glucose tolerance tests in adult females were not significantly different with diet, but offspring eating TAD soy had increased glucose disappearance with overall lower glucose and insulin responses to the glucose challenge compared with typical American diet (TAD) casein, according to "Effects of soy vs. casein protein on body weight and glycemic control in female monkeys and their offspring" by Wagner JD, Jorgensen MJ, Cline JM, Lees CJ, Franke AA, Zhang L, Ayers MR, Schultz C, Kaplan JR.(e)

6. Etc.

B. Health Benefits according to the concentration
Tryptophan is one of the 10 essential amino acids which the body uses to synthesize the proteins for brain cells need, thus enhancing the nerve cells in information transmitting between themselves and cells in the parts of the body that reduces the risk of anxiety and depression, according to the study of "The effects of tryptophan depletion on neural responses to emotional words in remitted depression" by Roiser JP, Levy J, Fromm SJ, Nugent AC, Talagala SL, Hasler G, Henn FA, Sahakian BJ, Drevets WC.(1)

2. Manganese
It is one of important trace in preventing osteoporosis, according to the study of "[Study of estrogen deficiency impact on manganese levels in teeth and mandible of rats after ovariectomy]. [Article in Polish]" by Rahnama M, Błoniarz J, Zareba S, Swiatkowski W.(1)and regulating blood sugar level, according to the study of "[An inadequate intake of manganese may favour insulin resistance in girls]. [Article in Spanish]" by Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Bermejo LM, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM.(2)

3. Iron
Iron beside is important in enhance the oxygen absorption ti nourish the cells and organs in the body but also form a vital role in the effect of Erythropoietic Stimulating Agents (ESA) hyporesponsiveness, according to "Effects of Iron Supplementation on Erythropoietic Response in Patients with Cancer-Associated Anemia Treated by Means of Erythropoietic Stimulating Agents" by Karlsson T.(3)

4. Protein
In the evaluation of soy protein diet abd it effects on serum creatinine, found that soy feeding was associated with higher renal and hepatic linoleic acid content and higher hepatic alpha-linolenic acid, but lower hepatic arachidonic acid content. and concluded that Isocaloric soy protein feeding ameliorates both epithelial and interstitial changes in the Han:SPRD-cy rat independent of a hypocholesterolemic effect. The histologic benefit is associated with changes in polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism that may influence both inflammatory and proliferative pathways, according to the study of "Modification of polycystic kidney disease and fatty acid status by soy protein diet" by Ogborn MR, Nitschmann E, Weiler HA, Bankovic-Calic N.(4)

C. Others Health benefit
1. Isoflavones
Isoflavones is one of the most powerful phytoestrogen, which not only helps to reduce symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause due to decreasing of the reproduction of estrogen as aging ( in the evaluation of the effect of red clover isoflavone supplementation over vasomotor and overall menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women, posted in PubMed( , researchers found that Red clover isoflavone supplementation was more effective than placebo in reducing daily vasomotor frequency and overall menopausal intensity in postmenopausal women.), it also helps to protect against the development of endometrial carcinoma as well as prolonging the menstrual cycle, ( according to the study of "The effect of phytoestrogens on the female genital tract" by Burton JL, Wells M., posted in PubMed, researchers found that this review will discuss the evidence from both animal studies and humans for an effect of these ubiquitous compounds on the development of the human female genital tract, in addition to prolonging the menstrual cycle, alleviating symptoms of the menopause, and protecting against the development of endometrial carcinoma.

2. Cardiovascular Benefits
Research found that protein of tofu significantly decreases the serum cholesterol by decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) but leaving the good cholesterol (HDL) remain the same According to the study of "Effect of soy and milk protein supplementation on serum lipid levels: a randomized controlled trial" by Wofford MR, Rebholz CM, Reynolds K, Chen J, Chen CS, Myers L, Xu J, Jones DW, Whelton PK, He J., posted in PubMed ( It also benefits the cardiovascular health (according to the study of "Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health: an American Heart Association Science Advisory for professionals from the Nutrition Committee" by Sacks FM, Lichtenstein A, Van Horn L, Harris W, Kris-Etherton P, Winston M; American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. posted PubMed (

3. Iron and copper
The ratio of iron and copper is essential to enhance the proper levels of hemoglobin in energy production by transporting and releasing oxygen throughout the body, according to the study of "Influence of copper, iron, zinc and fe (3) (+) haemoglobin levels on the etiopathogenesis of chronic calcific pancreatitis--a study in patients with pancreatitis" by Arumugam G, Padmanaban M, Krishnan D, Panneerselvam S, Rajagopal S., posted in PubMed (, researchers found that the results of the present study revealed that the levels of copper and iron, the pro-oxidants and zinc and selenium may influence calcification process in CCP patients. Hypoxia-related tissue injury due to the formation of oxidised haemoglobin may also contribute to the pathogenesis of calcification in pancreas.

4. Superoxide dismutase
Superoxide dismutase are an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen as a class of enzymes that catalyzes the dismutation of free radicals due to existence of copper and Zn in tofu (according to the study of "Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase gene dosage and cell resistance to oxidative stress: a review" by Peskin AV., posted in Pubmed, researchers found that
There are data that increasing only Cu,Zn-SOD can be toxic, and the balance between Cu,Zn-SOD and peroxide-removing enzymes is supposed to be of prime importance in the antioxidant defence. Role of Cu,Zn-SOD deregulation in carcinogenesis is discussed.

5. Menstrual cramp and pain
The existence of Omega 3 fatty acid reduces the production of prostaglandin hormone, by balancing the ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, resulting in lessening the movement of abdominal muscle that cause menstrual cramps and pain , according to the study of "Effect of Clupeonella grimmi (anchovy/kilka) fish oil on dysmenorrhoea" by Moghadamnia AA, Mirhosseini N, Abadi MH, Omranirad A, Omidvar S., posted in PubMed (, researchers found that There was also a marked reduction in low back pain and abdominal pain (P < 0.05), and participants needed significantly fewer rescue doses of ibuprofen while using fish oil.

6. Selenium
Selenium is classified as one of antioxidant trace mineral that helps to increase the immune function to fight the forming of free radicals, infection and inflammation caused by oxidation, irregular cells growth, virus and bacteria, etc., according tothe study of "Protective role of intraperitoneally administrated vitamin E and selenium on the levels of total lipid, total cholesterol, and fatty acid composition of muscle and liver tissues in rats" by Yilmaz O, Celik S, Cay M, Naziroğlu M., posted in PubMed, researchers found that the level of total lipid and cholesterol in muscle and liver tissues were reduced by administrating vitamin E and Se together. Additionally, the fatty acid synthesis in the muscle and liver tissues was decreased by this process) and prevent plague accumulated cause of Atherosclerosis (according to the study of 'Vitamin-mineral supplementation and the progression of atherosclerosis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials" by Bleys J, Miller ER 3rd, Pastor-Barriuso R, Appel LJ, Guallar E., posted in PubMed) thus reducing the risk of heart diseases and hypertension.

7. Etc.

Side effects
1. Over consumption of tofu can cause dementia in older age groups.
2. Allergic effect for some people.
3. Since it contains a measure amount of axalates, it causes problem for people with kidney and gallbladder diseases.

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