Acatris, the Dutch ingredients group, has just published research which it claims shows that its SoyLife product provides much more than soy protein and isoflavones.
Soy has received a great deal of good publicity in recent years because of its beneficial effects on health, with most research suggesting that the protein and isoflavones in soy are the key factors. But Acatris said that its research had shown that other nutrients in SoyLife - such as saponins - can also be good for the health.
Researchers funded by Acatris looked at the possible prebiotic and saponin effects of SoyLife, and discovered that it caused an increase in the levels of healthy Lactobacillus bacteria. This in turn led to the substantial metabolism of soy isoflavones, suggesting that SoyLife can have a major prebiotic effect, at least in in vitro tests.
Meanwhile, a separate in vitro study showed that SoyLife was able to reduce the amount of damage to the intestinal wall by bile acid simulators. Bile acid can damage the cells and destroy healthy bacteria if left unchecked, but the study showed that the Lactobacillus bacteria were able to survive despite the presence of bile acid because of the saponins in SoyLife, which the researchers suggest may protect the gut by reducing the negative impact of bile salts.
Acatris claimed that these additional benefits to its soy product would not be shared by rival brands because the production process for SoyLife does not strip away the essential natural nutrients.