Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds in some plants such as beans, cabbage, soyabean, and grains. They have been found to decrease the risk factors for heart disease.
As type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) increases the risk of heart problems in women after menopause, a study was recently conducted to observe whether a dietary supplement containing soy protein and isoflavones (common form of phytoestrogens exclusively found in legumes especially soya bean) has any effect in controlling blood sugar and cardiovascular risk markers.
The study was conducted on 32 post-menopausal women with diet-controlled type 2 diabetes. The results of the study showed that dietary supplementation with soy protein and isoflavones improve insulin sensitivity and hence blood sugar control. It was also found to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol level in blood thus reducing the risk of heart disease.