Diabetes MellitusFlavonoids (Soy)

Legumes, soy food, and the risk of diabetes

It’s suggested that a diet high in legumes might help prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus. But researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee found otherwise in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.

First, the details.

  • 64,227 middle-aged Chinese women with no history of type 2 diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease were followed for about 4.6 years.
  • They gave information about diabetes risk factors, including dietary intake and physical activity in adulthood.
  • Anthropometric (size and proportions) measurements were taken.
  • Dietary intake was assessed with a validated food-frequency questionnaire at the beginning and 2 to 3 years later.

And, the results.

  • Higher total legume intake (peanuts, soybeans, and other legumes) appeared to associated with a lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, but the difference was not statistically significant.
  • Soy products (other than soy milk) and soy protein consumption (protein derived from soy beans and their products) showed no relationship to the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Consumption of legumes, soybeans in particular, was inversely associated with the risk type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

I disagree. None of the statistical calculations reported reached p < 0.05. The rules of the game of clinical studies say that it happened by chance unless that level of statistical significance is reached. The real bottom line? Read the first paragraph. 1/13/08 16:15 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.