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Can soya beans prevent Type 2 diabetes?

New research on rats has shown that black soya beans could help fight against obesity as well as possibly preventing Type 2 diabetes. The research also showed that the beans could reduce cholesterol levels.

Scientists in Seoul, South Korea, studied four groups of rats on a fatty diet, with differing amounts of black soya and one group receiving none at all.

Results showed that rats getting 10 per cent of their energy from black soya gained half as much weight as those not given soya. Their total blood cholesterol also fell by 25 per cent and LDL levels –  'bad' cholesterol – fell by 60 per cent.

Experts believe that the soya protein slows down the metabolism of the liver, reducing the production of cholesterol and fatty acids.

"The results of this study are interesting; however, more research needs to be done to determine if the results found in rats would be replicated in humans," said Libby Dowling, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK.

"Weight is certainly a key issue when it comes to Type 2 diabetes - 80 per cent of people are overweight when diagnosed with the condition - and keeping the right weight for your height is important in helping to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Black soya beans are low in fat, high in soluble fibre and a good source of protein but they alone will not stop someone from developing diabetes.

"Regular physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet are proven to be very effective in reducing the risk of developing the condition."

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