Immunomodulatory effects of soybeans and processed soy food compounds.
Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 2015 Jun 29. Epub 2015 Jun 29. PMID: 26118769
Inflammation is a natural response of living organisms to the presence of internal and external substances, and includes uncontrolled and low-grade inflammations. Uncontrolled inflammation often results in chronic diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, cancer, dementia, diabetes, neurodegeneration, and vascular disease. In contrast, low-grade inflammation has been recognized as the link between adiposity and the risk of chronic metabolic disorders. Elevated concentrations of inflammatory markers such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory mediators have been observed in obese individuals. Through evolution, plants have developed phytochemicals to fight inflammations and infections. Most of them belong to the chemical group of alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and terpenoids. Soybean consumption can play a role in the modulation of inflammatory markers through their bioactive compounds, such as isoflavones, saponins, and flavonoids. The application of phytochemicals for medical care has increased significantly during the last few years. Currently, there is a renewed interest in the search for new phytochemicals that could be developed into useful anti-inflammatory agents to reduce the risk of many diseases. This review article presents and discusses the results of a literature search on recent findings regarding soybean or processed soy food compounds which exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in some diseases via the suppression of inflammatory pathways.