Researchers found that a diet rich in soy may offset dangerous chemical’s effects in women undergoing IVF procedures. Soy consumption is associated with a lower risk of hormonal disruption caused by bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen found in plastic containers.
BPA exposure has often been associated with a plethora of health risks including brain damage, ovarian dysfunction and infertility. Recent studies had shown that the chemical can also lower the odds of a woman undergoing IVF to have a baby.
BPA is especially dangerous because it can mimic a female sex hormone called estrogen and produce hormonal disruptions. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 96 percent of people living in the U.S. have BPA in their systems.
One hundred studies had revealed a link between BPA exposure and reproductive issues. But the recent study comes with a good piece of news – soy may counter BPA’s effect on a woman’s reproductive system.
Though research has suggested a link between soy consumption and higher success rates of IVF treatments, researchers cannot tell the exact cause of such association. They recommend more research to be conducted to get to the bottom of the problem.
The new study involved 239 women who took part in at least a single IVF cycle over a 5 year period. Women’s urine was analyzed to look for BPA concentrations. Participants were also asked to fill in a questionnaire about their diet and lifestyle choices. They were also asked just how often they consume soy. More than half of participants said they ate soy foods.
Women who said they didn’t eat soy routinely, but also had higher levels of BPA in their bodies were less likely to successfully complete an IVF cycle and had lower odds to have a live birth than women who ate soy products.
BPA levels didn’t affect IVF outcomes in women who had a soy-rich diet, the research found. Researchers are confident that other foods and lifestyle changes may improve the success rates of IVF procedures by offsetting the health effects of BPA and other hazardous chemicals.
Past research had found a link between soy consumption and lower risk of breast and endometrial cancer. Plus, soy seems beneficial in women at menopause since it apparently hardens arteries, prevents bone loss and mental decline.
Researchers credit isoflavones or ‘plant estrogen’ in soy for the health benefits in women.
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