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Interesting Facts about Soybeans

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The main health benefits in eating soybeans are from the various phytonutrients they contain, e.g. isoflavones. These have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis and other conditions. In 1999 the Federal Drug Administration in the USA approved the health claim that the heart health benefits of soya could be used on the labels of soya-based foods.

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Soybeans have been called "meat without bones" because, although this versatile bean is small in comparison to many other beans, it is packed with protein, very similar to the protein in meat, dairy products and eggs. The soybean plant is one of the few plants that provides nearly all the essential amino acids, that make up proteins.

Did you know ...

that scientists from the Agricultural Research Service, Iowa State University and Brazil have identified a cluster of genes that provide resistance to the soybean rust (SBR) fungus (Phakopsora pachyrhizi) ? In addition, these researchers have been involved in the largest molecular study of SBR over the past three years by narrowing the field of 37,500 genes involved in defending the soybean plant against SBR, to just a few hundred. Research is currently underway to study these genes experimentally to understand their roles in controlling the rust fungus.

Did you know ...

that the soybean genome was recently sequenced by the US Department of Energy and several academic laboratories? This major scientific breakthrough will enable plant breeders to breed better, more adaptive cultivars with higher yields and increased resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

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Soybeans are a main part of the diet of the Japanese. It is believed that this accounts for the fact that Japanese women have been shown to have low rates of breast cancer, osteoporosis and menopausal problems. In menopausal years, when women's oestrogen levels are low, the isoflavones found in soybeans, act as oestrogens relieving hot flushes, mood swings and reducing bone loss. In contrast, when women's oestrogen levels are high, the oestrogens in soya help lower pre-menstrual stress.

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Japanese men are known to have the lowest rate of prostate cancer in the world, but research has shown their rate of prostate cancer increases when they immigrate to the US. Genetics and a westernized diet may have a role to play in these health differences, but substantial medical research has shown that the addition of soya in a diet plays a large role in alleviating prostate cancer.

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in the US, conservation tillage is used in more than 65% of the country's soybean production areas, resulting in a 93% decrease in soil erosion, a 70% reduction in herbicide runoff, and a 50% reduction in fuel use.

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over the past 12 years, crops improved through agricultural biotechnology, have produced more nutritious and higher yields and consequently higher profit margins. In the history of agriculture, no other advances have been adopted as quickly. In addition, through the use of these crops, the US has decreased carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to removing 6.3 million cars off the roads. These findings show that biotechnology is safe, contributing to increased human health as well as environmental and agricultural sustainability.

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with the worldwide emphasis on environmental conservation, soybean based candle wax is offering an alternative to petroleum-paraffin waxes with additional advantages such as enhanced fragrance holding ability, improved pouring characteristics and easier use in existing candle manufacturing factories.

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in a recent study it was shown that women with breast cancer who included about two servings of soya protein per day, had a 7.4% mortality rate and an 8.0% cancer recurrence rate. In comparison, women with breast cancer who consumed less soya had a 10.3% mortality rate and a 11.2% recurrence rate, i.e., about a 30% decrease in risk of mortality and recurrence in breast cancer patients.

Did you know ...

in Brazil, about 25% of cars run on biofuels (mostly sugar and soybeans). Studies have shown that soya protein is 13 times more energy efficient than organic dairy protein.