MONDAY, Feb. 26, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- New research in rats suggests that black soya beans may be a wonder food of sorts, helping to prevent obesity, lower cholesterol levels and possibly even reduce risks for diabetes.
In a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, a team of Korean researchers studied the effects of black soya in 32 rats.
The researchers allowed the rodents to gorge on a fatty diet supplemented with various levels of black soya.
After two weeks, the rats getting 10 percent of their energy from black soya gained half as much weight as those in the control group, and their total blood cholesterol and LDL (so-called "bad") cholesterol fell by 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
According to David Bender, sub-dean at the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, soya protein may reduce the production of new fatty acids and cholesterol by affecting fat metabolism in the liver and adipose tissue. This may help explain why black soya is a traditional Asian treatment against diabetes.
"The key problem in type 2 diabetes is impairment of insulin action, mainly as a result of excess abdominal adipose tissue -- so loss of weight often improves glycemic control," said Bender in a prepared statement.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about diabetes.