β-Conglycinin in soy protein helps you lose weight
Soy is an important component of many plant-based diets. However, anyone who believes that soy is only of interest to vegans and vegetarians is very much mistaken. Many fitness enthusiasts also rely on soy. Due to its high biological value, soy protein, such as β-conglycinin, is considered an excellent source of protein.
Studies confirm that soy protein promotes muscle building and training strength to the same extent as whey or other animal proteins. You can read more about this on our "Muscle building" page in the "Coaching" section.
Recent studies also indicate that people who want to lose weight also benefit from regular soy consumption. One substance in particular is said to be responsible for this: β-conglycinin.
Soy protein isolate contains up to 20% β-conglycinin. According to research results, the protein reduces body weight and body fat and prevents obesity and the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
β-Conglycinin reduces body weight and body fat
In a study, the intake of soy protein isolate reduced weight gain with a high-fat diet. How β-conglycinin works has not yet been precisely deciphered. However, the following observation provides an important clue: the positive effects of soy protein isolate do not occur in mice that are kept under sterile conditions. Experts therefore assume that the positive effect results from an interaction with the intestinal flora, which in turn influences the bile acid cycle. Examined stool samples did indeed show an altered bacterial and bile acid composition and confirmed this assumption.The main task of bile acids is to emulsify water-insoluble fats so that they can be absorbed by the intestine into the blood. Bile acid is subject to a cycle: If fats are ingested with food, the bile releases bile acids to enable their digestion. The bile acids are then recovered in the small intestine and used again. Bile acids also act as a hormone-like regulator and have an antimicrobial effect. Antimicrobial means that they can inhibit the growth of microorganisms - e.g. certain bacterial strains. Bile acid and intestinal flora therefore influence each other.
In addition, another factor appears to play a role. The researchers found that the consumption of soy protein isolate increases the release of GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) in the intestine. Among other things, the peptide hormone GLP-1 delays gastric emptying and creates a feeling of fullness.
β-Conglycinin reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
A randomized placebo-controlled study also shows that soy protein isolate reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. After 12 weeks of taking β-conglycinin (5 g/day), the study participants had significantly lower cholesterol and blood lipid (triglyceride) levels than the comparison group.
High cholesterol and blood lipid levels are considered a risk factor for arteriosclerosis, which in the worst case can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol is an important component of bile acid. It is assumed that soy protein binds bile acid, which means that it cannot be recycled and is excreted. The liver therefore has to produce new bile acid and needs cholesterol from the blood to do so.
In a second study, the study group found that the visceral fat tissue was significantly reduced in slightly overweight people (BMI 25-30) after taking 5 g of beta-conglycinin per day for 20 weeks. Visceral adipose tissue is mainly located on the abdomen and is associated with the development of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.
The health-promoting properties of soy have been known for some time. Until now, however, the focus has been on the isoflavones it contains. The secondary plant substances are also said to have a positive effect on menopausal symptoms. You can read more about soy here.
Not a fan of soy milk or tofu, but still want to eat more soy protein? Then our protein powders are the right choice for you. With the exception of our pea rice protein powder, all Nutri-Plus protein powders contain soy protein isolate..
- Hashidume et al. Single ingestion of soy β-conglycinin induces increased postprandial circulating FGF21 levels exerting beneficial health effects. Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 28183. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep28183 PMID: 27312476
- Kohno et al. Decreases in serum triacylglycerol and visceral fat mediated by dietary soybean beta-conglycinin. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2006; 13: 247-255.
- Li et al. Soya protein β-conglycinin ameliorates fatty liver and obesity in diet-induced obese mice through the down-regulation of PPARγ. Br J Nutr. 2018; 119(11):1220-1232.