Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Japan outperforms other G7 countries when it comes to life expectancy, recent data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows. While there is no single explanation, buy unisom au no prescription diet is thought to play a prominent role. Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), strengthens this association.
The study found that a higher intake of fermented soy products, such as miso and natto – staple items in the Japanese diet – is associated with a lower risk of death.
In Asian countries, especially Japan, several types of soy products are widely consumed, such as natto (soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis), miso (soybeans fermented with Aspergillus oryzae), and tofu (soybean curd).
Researchers had hitherto not established a link between soy products, especially fermented soy products, and specific health effects.
To remedy this, a team of researchers in Japan set out to investigate the association between several types of soy products and death from any cause (“all cause mortality”) and from cancer, total cardiovascular disease (heart disease and cerebrovascular disease), respiratory disease, and injury.
The researchers based their findings on 42,750 men and 50,165 women aged 45-74 years who were taking part in a study based in 11 of Japan’s public health centre areas.
The researchers found that a higher intake of fermented soy (natto and miso) was associated with a significantly lower (10 percent) risk of all cause mortality, but total soy product intake was not associated with all cause mortality.
Men and women who ate natto also had a lower risk of cardiovascular mortality than those who did not eat natto, but there was no association between soy intake and cancer related mortality.
These results persisted even after further adjusting for intake of vegetables, which was higher among those consuming larger portions of natto.
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The authors pointed out that fermented soy products are richer in fibre, potassium and bioactive components than their non-fermented counterparts, which may help to explain their associations.
However, this is an observational study, so can’t establish cause, and the researchers cannot rule out the possibility that some of the observed risk may be due to other unmeasured factors.
They concluded: “In this large prospective study conducted in Japan with a high rate of soy consumption, no significant association was found between intake of total soy products and all cause mortality. In contrast, a higher intake of fermented soy products (natto and miso) was associated with a lower risk of mortality.”
Increasing evidence has suggested that fermented soy products are associated with health benefits, wrote researchers in a linked editorial.
Whether people eat those products depends on their food culture, they said, but some countries already include soy and fermented soy products in their dietary guidelines.
Further studies are still required, however, “to refine our understanding of the health effects of fermented soy, and perhaps to inform the development of healthier and more palatable products,” they concluded.
“These efforts should be collaborative, including not only researchers but also policy makers and the food industry.”
What’s included in a typical Japanese diet?
The typical Japanese diet is characterised by plant food and fish as well as modest Westernised diet such as meat, milk and dairy products might be associated with longevity in Japan.
The worst aspects of the Westernised diet are foods that contain saturated fat.
As the NHS explains, you should avoid food containing saturated fats, because these will increase the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.
Bad cholesterol is a fatty substance that can clog up your arteries.
It is found in meat pies, sausages and fatty cuts of meat.
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