The potential role of soyfoods in weight and adiposity reduction: an evidence-based review

Obes Rev. 2008 May;9(3):219-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2007.00390.x.


Evidence concerning the relationship between soyfoods and weight loss was reviewed. Detailed searches of PubMed and Web of Science were performed to identify and evaluate evidence for or against four propositions related to soyfoods and weight loss (Data from in vitro, animal, epidemiologic, and clinical studies were evaluated and summarized). (1) Certain soyfoods will improve weight and/or fat loss when fed at isolcaloric levels (similar calories given across experimental conditions, but not necessarily at a level to maintain current body weight); generally supportive evidence in animal studies, but there is no compelling support in human studies. (2) Certain soyfoods will improve weight and fat loss when included as part of a diet by affecting caloric intake; limited supportive evidence in animal and human studies. (3) Certain soyfoods will prevent/improve risk factors related to glucoregulatory function and cardiovascular health during weight loss; some evidence supporting this proposition, but additional evidence is needed before conclusions can be made. (4) Certain soyfoods will minimize the loss of bone mass during weight loss; no data available pertinent to this proposition. Limitations in existing data make it difficult to reach conclusions regarding these four propositions. Overall, the current data suggest that soyfoods are as good as other protein sources for promoting weight loss and there is a suggestive body of evidence that soyfoods may confer additional benefits, but results must be carefully interpreted and additional evidence is needed before making firm conclusions concerning soyfoods and weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diet / methods
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Soy Foods* / statistics & numerical data
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*