Beans Linked to Low Cholesterol
Beans, including soybeans and chickpeas, can actually help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (January 2000) say beans increase blood levels of phytoestrogens or plant estrogens in women. According to Dr. Bairey Merz, "the study shows a very significant relationship between increased phytoestrogen levels and lower cholesterol."
There also may be "positive associations" with phytoestrogens and hormone replacement therapy for women during and after menopause.
The next challenge is whether the same benefits can be obtained by taking supplement capsules instead of eating beans themselves. Other studies show that artificial forms produce less positive results. This probably means we should be eating beans as opposed to taking supplements in capsule form.
See Also: Diet and Nutrition
Therapy for Cardiovascular Health