Published: Thu, November 02, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

FDA Moves to Strip Soy Protein's Authorized Heart Health Claim

FDA Moves to Strip Soy Protein's Authorized Heart Health Claim

In a 2008 comment on the FDA's intent to reevaluate the evidence, the association said: "Direct cardiovascular health benefit of soy protein or isoflavone supplements is minimal at best". Yet again, reports suggest that in 2007, the FDA commenced the re-assessment of the health claim that soy proteins had a beneficial effect on the heart, and now, in October 2017, the organization has conveniently rejected the health claim on the grounds that there was no evidence demonstrating any relation between soy food consumption and heart benefits.

"While some evidence continues to suggest a relationship between soy protein and a reduced risk of heart disease - including evidence reviewed by the FDA when the claim was authorized - the totality of now available scientific evidence calls into question the certainty of this relationship", the FDA said in a statement. Before a manufacturer can make such a claim, the FDA has to approve it, based on scientific evidence.

The FDA has been evaluating health claims on packaged foods since 1990, it said.

"Our review of that evidence has led us to conclude that the relationship between soy protein and heart disease does not meet the rigorous standard for an FDA-authorized health claim", Mayne said.

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For customers FDA proceedings does not alter the character of soy or its prospective role as a vegetarian option to animal protein wrote Linda Van Horn, professor and chief of nutrition in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, in an email. These studies have especially studied if consuming soy proteins can lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or the bad cholesterol that damages the heart. The move is the first time the FDA has attempted to revoke a previously authorized health claim.

The statement adds that there is still some scientific evidence that shows that there might be a relationship between consumption of soy protein and reduction of heart disease risk. This is a special kind of approval, Mayne explained, where lower standards of evidence of the protective nature of a food are acceptable. A comment period is opened up for 75 days. The comments, along with all related research, will be reviewed to consider whether the rule will become final.

The U.S. FDA has been reportedly projected to remove a health claim statement made by food companies over heart benefits derived through the consumption of soy-based products such as tofu and soy milk.

For consumers who have questions about eating soy products, we recommend they continue to follow advice from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, which state that a healthy eating pattern can include soy beverages and a variety of protein foods, including soy products.

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