Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

  • Hydrolyzed soy protein, soy protein, soy protein extract


Soy is a protein that comes from soybeans, soy yogurt, and tofu. It is often advised to eat soy in soybean form. It has been used to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood fat levels. Soy has also been used to help control blood glucose and promote weight loss.


25 to 30 grams daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Chronic kidney disease—likely to lower triglycerides B1
  • Diabetes —likely to help control blood glucose; also likely to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and blood fat levels C1-C3
  • Endocrine-related gynecological cancer—likely to lower the risk D1
  • Endometrial cancer Endometrial cancer—likely to lower the risk when eaten as a food E1
  • High Blood Pressure —likely to lower blood pressure when used with standard treatment F1, F2
  • Lung cancer —likely to lower the risk of lung cancer I1
  • Menopausal Symptoms —likely to improve cognitive function, visual memory, reduce body weight, ease hot flashes, and lower glucose; may ease vaginal dryness but not night sweats J1-J5
  • Obesity—likely to decrease waist circumference K1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take soy in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid large amounts of soy.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


REFA Breast Cancer

REFA1 Van Patten CL, Olivotto CL, et al. Effect of soy phytoestrogens on hot flashes in postmenopausal women with breast cancer: a randomized, controlled clinical trial. J Clin Oncol. 2002;20(6):1449-1455.

REFB Chronic Kidney Disease

REFB1 Zhang J, Liu J, et al. The effects of soy protein on chronic kidney disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;68(9):987-993.

REFC Diabetes

REFC1 Liu ZM, Chen YM, et al. Effects of soy intake on glycemic control: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(5):1092-1101.

REFC2 Yang B, Chen Y, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of soy products consumption in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011;20(4):593-602.

REFC3 Zhang XM, Zhang YB, et al. Soy Protein Supplementation Reduces Clinical Indices in Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Yonsei Med J. 2016;57(3):681-689.

REFD Endocrine-Related Gynecological Cancers

REFD1 Myung SK, Ju W, et al. Soy intake and risk of endocrine-related gynaecological cancer: a meta-analysis. BJOG. 2009 Dec;116(13):1697-1705.

REFE Endometrial Cancer

REFE1 Zhang GQ, Chen JL, et al. Soy Intake Is Associated With Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Dec;94(50):e2281.

REFF High Blood Pressure

REFF1 Dong JY, Tong X, et al. Effect of soya protein on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Nutr. 2011;106(3):317-326.

REFF2 Liu XX, Li SH, et al. Effect of soy isoflavones on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Jun;22(6):463-470.

REFG High Cholesterol

REFG1 Qin Y, Niu K, et al. Isoflavones for hypercholesterolaemia in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 6;(6):CD009518.

REFG2 Malhotra A, Shafiq N, et al. Dietary interventions (plant sterols, stanols, omega-3 fatty acids, soy protein and dietary fibers) for familial hypercholesterolaemia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(6):CD001918.

REFH Infantile Colic

REFH1 Gordon M, Biagioli E, et al. Dietary modifications for infantile colic. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Oct 10;10:CD011029.

REFI Lung Cancer

REFI1 Yang WS, Va P, et al. Soy intake is associated with lower lung cancer risk: results from a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec;94(6):1575-1583.

REFJ Menopause

REFJ1 Taku K, Melby MK, et al. Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones reduce menopausal hot flash frequency and severity: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause. 2012 Jul;19(7):776-790.

REFJ2 Zhang YB, Chen WH, et al. Soy isoflavone supplementation could reduce body weight and improve glucose metabolism in non-Asian postmenopausal women--a meta-analysis. Nutrition. 2013 Jan;29(1):8-14.

REFJ3 Lethaby A, Marjoribanks J, et al. Phytoestrogens for menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Dec 10;(12):CD001395.

REFJ4 Cheng PF, Chen JJ, et al. Do soy isoflavones improve cognitive function in postmenopausal women? A meta-analysis. Menopause. 2015 Feb;22(2):198-206.

REFJ5 Franco OH, Chowdhury R, et al. Use of Plant-Based Therapies and Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2016 Jun 21;315(23):2554-2563.

REFK Obesity

REFK1 Akhlaghi M, Zare M, et al. Effect of Soy and Soy Isoflavones on Obesity-Related Anthropometric Measures: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials. Adv Nutr. 2017;8(5):705-717.

REFL Prostate Cancer

REFL1 van Die MD, Bone KM, et al. Soy and soy isoflavones in prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BJU Int. 2014 May;113(5b):E119-130.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019
  • Update Date: 03/27/2020