Professor Ian Rowland discusses whether the consumption of soy is a recipe for a long and healthy life.
Tuesday 3 April 2012, 12.30pm
The Chemistry Centre, London, W1J 0BA
The inhabitants of the Japanese region of Okinawa are officially the longest lived population in the world and also have one of the lowest mortality rates from chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and dementia. This has in part been ascribed to their diet, which is very high in soy-based foods like tofu and miso. So is the consumption of soy a recipe for a long and healthy life and should we in the UK be eating more of it?
This talk will explain the origins of soy foods in south east Asia, how the bean is processed to produce traditional Japanese foods such as tofu and how it is used in western foods like soy burgers and yoghurts. You will have the opportunity to taste natural soy beans (also known as edamame beans), roasted soy, tofu and other soy products (all GM free!) and learn about their nutritional value and the naturally occurring compounds present in the beans. The most interesting of these natural substances are called isoflavones, which have hormone like activity that has led to claims for health benefits including reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancers and improving brain function. There are however concerns that these hormone-like properties may result in adverse effects on child development, on the thyroid gland and even cancer.
You'll be surprised at just how tasty soy can be!
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