A study published in BMC Endocrine Disorders found that consuming soy milk and probiotics improves some cardiovascular (CV) risk factors among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Patients (N=100) aged 40 to 75 years with T2D were recruited for this study from Motahari Hospital in Iran. The participants underwent a 2-week run-in period in which they stopped consuming soy products and probiotic foods or supplements, after which time they were randomly assigned to receive 240 cc of soy milk plus a probiotic capsule (n=25), 240 cc of soy milk plus placebo (n=25), 240 cc of conventional milk plus placebo (n=25), or a probiotic capsule only (n=25) for 6 weeks. Changes in blood biomarkers for CV risk and blood pressure (BP) were evaluated.

The 4 groups had mean ages of 51.16 to 54.40 years, 60% to 80% were men, they had BMIs of 26.98 to 29.06, systolic BP of 126.45 to132.00 mm Hg, and diastolic BP of 80.41 to 83.40 mm Hg. The patients assigned the probiotics alone had a significantly lower physical activity level (mean, 26.99 metabolic equivalents of task [MET]/h/d) compared with the other groups (mean range, 27.38-28.64 MET/h/d; P =.03).

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Stratified by group, no changes to dietary components were observed during the study compared with baseline, and no significant differences in dietary components were observed between study groups.

The participants who received soy milk plus probiotics had significant reductions in diastolic BP (mean difference [MD], -6.95 mm Hg; P =.001), total cholesterol (MD, -8.87 mg/dl; P =.01), triglyceride levels (MD, -40.20 mg/dl; P <.001), and insulin (MD, -11.31 μU/ml; P =.003) and a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (MD, 5.50 mg/day; P =.002) at 6 weeks compared with baseline.

The participants who received soy milk plus placebo had significant improvements in diastolic BP, triglyceride levels, insulin, and HDL-C (all P ≤.03), and recipients of the probiotic alone had significant improvements in systolic and diastolic BP, insulin, and HDL-C (all P ≤.05). Conversely, conventional milk recipients did not have improvements in any outcomes.

Overall, between-group differences were observed for systolic (P =.01) and diastolic (P =.02) BP outcomes.

This study is limited by its small sample size and short duration.

“…due to the limitations of this study and the inconsistent results of the available evidence, studies with expanded settings are warranted,” the study authors wrote.


Hasanpour A, Babajafari S, Mazloomi SM, Shams M. The effects of soymilk plus probiotics supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized clinical trialBMC Endocr Disord. Published online February 10, 2023. doi:10.1186/s12902-023-01290-w

This article originally appeared on The Cardiology Advisor