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May 9, 2012

Natural Cancer-Fighting Substance Released When Soybeans Soaked in Water

"Green" Solution to Extracting BBI Cancer-Fighting Substance Offers Potential

In an article published in American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry scientists have discovered that soybeans soaked in warm water naturally release a key cancer-fighting substance. Known as Bowman-Birk Protease Inhibitor (BBI), this substance has been studied in clinical trials to see if it is the reason that traditional Japanese diets seem to correlate with low cancer mortality rates. In laboratory experiments, BBI has stopped breast cancer cells from dividing.

Until now, extracting BBI from soybeans has involved a complicated industrialized process involving time spans of time and chemicals. This latest discovery provides a "green" way to extract BBI. It involves soaking soybeans in water heated to 122F. Funding for this research was in part provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more see:

"Soybeans soaked in warm water naturally release key cancer-fighting substance," ScienceDaily, 9 May 2012.

Manoj H. Palavalli, Savithiry S. Natarajan, Thomas T. Y. Wang, Hari B. Krishnan. "Imbibition of Soybean Seeds in Warm Water Results in the Release of Copious Amounts of Bowman–Birk Protease Inhibitor, a Putative Anticarcinogenic Agent." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (12): 3135.

About Margaret


CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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