A New Antioxidant with 150 Times Activity of Vitamin C

Dark soy sauce reduces heart disease symptoms

Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

Adding a dash of dark soy sauce to your daily diet could improve antioxidant levels and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, scientists from Singapore report in the June 2006 issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications .

The researchers, led by Professor Barry Halliwell from the National University of Singapore, previously reported that dark soy sauce (DSS) has an antioxidant activity 150 times that of vitamins C and E, and 10 times that of wine.

The study was the first to report positive results of a clinical trial looking at soy sauce’s impact on levels of antioxidants and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) which causes almost 50 percent of deaths in the US and Europe. According to the American Heart Association, 34.2 percent of Americans (70.1m people) suffered from some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 2002.

Lowers Blood Free Radicals

The researchers found that levels of compounds called F2-isoprostanes, a product of free radical oxidation of arachidonic acid and related to oxidative stress from smoking, CVD, obesity and diabetes, were lower in the plasma of the DSS group than placebo. After three hours, the DSS group had a 13 percent lower level of F2-isoprostanes. The difference grew to 16 percent after four hours. Diastolic blood pressure however was lower in the DSS group than placebo (62.63 mmHg versus 65.75 mmHg after two hours).

“Diastolic blood pressure decreased further after DSS than placebo, consistent with the notion that a decrease in oxidative stress could have physiologically relevant effects on the vasculature,” wrote the researchers.

“We find that dark soy sauce has a rapid (3 to 4 hours) antioxidant effect against lipid peroxidation in vivo, and that these effects are accompanied by vasodilatory hemodynamic changes in vascular function consistent with antioxidant effects on the endothelium or vascular smooth muscle,” they said.

A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that soy proteins and not the isoflavones were responsible for lowering serum lipid levels and are responsible for the cardiovascular benefits.

But Avoid High-Sodium Soy Sauce

It should also be stressed that commercial dark soy sauce has a significant content of salt, which has been shown to raise blood pressure and is linked to an increased risk of CVD and stroke. Plus, the dark soy sauce industry saw sales fall in 2002 amid fears about carcinogenic contaminants in the sauces with national food agencies quick to remove the offending products from supermarket shelves.

Seek brands with liquid amino acids made with non-genetically modified soy beans and only a trace of sodium. Low-sodium brands of soy sauce contain 550 milligrams (mg) per serving versus 1,100 mg for regular. Bragg Liquid Aminos has only 160 mg.

comments powered by Disqus