Soy Protein & Constipation

Portion of Soy Meat (on wood)
Too much soy protein is not good for your digestive health. (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

There is some debate regarding the role of soy protein in constipation. Soy protein is being researched for beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, insulin resistance and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Large doses of soy protein can cause constipation or make it worse in some people. If you have a constipation problem, talk to your physician before supplementing your diet with soy protein supplements.

Definition

Constipation means hard bowel movements. You cannot poop easily because your stool is hard and dry. It occurs when the colon absorbs as much liquid from the stool to make it hard. People with constipation should drink plenty of liquids. Other factors that can lead to constipation include stress, dehydration and inactivity.

Soy Protein and Constipation

Constipation is often caused by a low-fiber diet and dehydration. Consuming soy protein in excess of your body's needs may cause dehydration, notes Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., co-author of 101 Frequently Asked Questions About "Health & Fitness " and "Nutrition & Weight Control." High protein content of soy also makes the complex carbohydrate difficult to absorb. Because complex carbohydrates in a variety of edible plants help alleviate symptoms of constipation, consuming excessive amounts of soy protein puts you at risk for this disease.

Prevention

Most cases of constipation are not serious or lasting. Increasing dietary intake of fiber to 25 g to 30 g a day may help reduce your constipation. Fiber softens the stool, allowing the stool to pass through the colon more quickly. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to reap the benefits of fiber.

Considerations

Soy protein has important health effects, which sometimes outweigh the harm. In a 2003 study published in "Nutrition Journal," obesity researchers noticed that soy protein is effective for losing weight as it controls the body's use of fat. (See References 4) Soy protein also helps prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol and increasing the flexibility of blood vessels. Therefore, before you make any major adjustments to your eating plan, consult your doctor.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.