Daily Dietary Supplementation with Steamed Soybean Improves Muscle Volume and Strength in Healthy People Lacking Exercise

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2022;68(6):521-526. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.68.521.


Various dietary protein supplements are used by the elderly and bedridden to maintain their skeletal muscle mass and functions. High-quality proteins act as an anabolic driver and help to improve muscle strength and performance. Previously, we reported that soy protein significantly attenuates denervation-induced loss of muscle mass and myofiber cross sectional area in mice with inhibition of ubiquitination and degradation of IRS-1 in tibialis anterior muscle. It also increased muscle volume and strength in bedridden patients. In the present study, we investigated the effects of dietary soybean supplementation on muscle functions in taxi drivers lacking vigorous physical exercise. We conducted a case-control study on 25 healthy, male taxi drivers between the ages of 36 and 71 y performing minimal physical exercise. They were divided into two dietary groups: the soybean diet group (n=13) who ate daily meals (dinner) supplemented with 50 g of steamed soybean for 30 d and the control diet group (n=12) who received no soybean supplement. Next, we measured the muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and muscle strength and function in both the groups before and after 30 d of soybean intake. The body weights of both diet groups did not differ significantly over time. However, after 30 d of soybean supplementation, the soybean-fed group developed significantly higher muscle CSA and grip strength compared to the control groups. In conclusion, dietary soybean supplementation improved muscle function in taxi drivers who lacked exercise.

Keywords: grip strength; muscle atrophy; muscle cross-sectional area; skeletal muscle; soybean.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Glycine max*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / metabolism


  • Dietary Proteins