New research suggests that drinking a daily soya shake could stop older women from putting on fat linked to heart disease.
Postmenopausal women who drank the shake put on less fat around the abdomen, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Dr Daniel Christie, from the University of Alabama, presented his findings at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Washington DC.
He said the aim of the research was to discover if soya reduced the fat women put on all over their bodies or just around their abdomens.
When the results for women drinking the shake were compared with those for women given a "dummy" drink, experts found all the women weighed similar amounts.
But detailed CT scans showed that women drinking the daily shake had laid down less fat around their abdomens.
Dr Christie said the soya shake was "high dose" and contained more soya than women could get from their diet.
The 120-calorie drink contained 2.5g of fat, 7g of carbohydrate and 20g of soya protein. It also contained 160mg of isoflavones, a healthy compound found in soybeans.
Dr Christie said the results show that soya helps cut subcutaneous and total abdominal fat, but has no effect on fat in areas like the arms and legs.
"The effect seems to be isolated to the abdominal region," he said.
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Clinical Zone: Womens health
University of Alabama
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