The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Tofu associated with worse memory

    Laboratory studies suggest that phytoestrogens, found in soy products such as tempe and tofu, could protect against cognitive (reasoning) decline. But an earlier study in humans suggested the opposite.

    Here’s what researchers from Loughborough University in the UK found.

    First, the details.

    • 719 elderly residents of 2 rural sites (Borobudur and Sumedang) and 1 urban site (Jakarta) were studied.
    • Memory was measured using a word-learning test sensitive to dementia.
    • Soy consumption was assessed using a Food Frequency Questionnaire.
    • The analyses were adjusted for the potentially confounding effects of age, sex, education, site, and intake of other foods.

    And, the results.

    • High tofu consumption was associated with significantly worse memory.
    • High tempe consumption was significantly related to better memory.
    • For both groups, this was seen particularly in participants over 68 years of age.

    The bottom line?
    So, eating tofu appears to be a risk factor for low memory function, and this supports the findings of the Honolulu Asia Aging Study.

    In contrast, tempe, which contains high levels of phytoestrogens, but (due to fermentation) also has high folate levels, appears to have protect from a decline in memory.

    6/28/08 21:22 JR

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