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Fermented soy beans and allergies.

Fermenting soy beans significantly reduced allergic reactions, according to two recent studies from Spanish and American scientists.

Researchers at the University of Illinois and the Instituto de Fermentaciones Industriales (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain found that fermenting soy beans significantly reduced immunoreactivity--by as much as 99 percent. The studies were funded by the USDA Future Foods Initiative and the Illinois Soybean Association.

In reports published in Food Chemistry and the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Elvira de Mejia from the University of Illinois and co-workers note that soy allergy is on the rise because soy is used in many food products. The researchers state: "Studies on the optimization of the effect of fermentation and hydrolysis on the reduction of immune response are on-going in our laboratory, which may lead to the development of hypoallergenic soy foods."

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Many previous studies have shown traditionally fermented soy--which is the form that is very popular in many Asian cultures in the form of natto, miso, tempeh and soy sauce aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases, including certain forms of heart disease and cancers. Non-fermented soy products, on the other hand, contain phytic acid, which binds with certain nutrients, including iron, to inhibit their absorption. Fermentation apparently stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of health-promoting iso-flavones.

The World Health Organization reports that the Japanese, who consume large amounts of fermented soy foods like natto and miso along with green tea, ginger and seaweed, have the longest lifespan of any people in the world.

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Title Annotation:What's Good For You
Publication:Natural Life
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2008
Words:257
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