Background: All About Okara
Okara, a by-product of soymilk production, isn’t just waste. This leftover pulp is actually packed full of protein and dietary fiber.
Researchers wanted to see if consuming a powder made from soymilk and okara could have a positive impact on body composition and gut bacteria in healthy Japanese adults.
Method: The Soymilk-Okara Experiment
For this study, the researchers recruited 46 volunteers, with women making up the majority. Each person was asked to consume 15 grams of soymilk-okara powder every day for 12 weeks.
Over this period, the researchers kept track of changes in the volunteers’ body composition.
They also took a look at the volunteers’ gut bacteria and certain molecules in their feces, both before and after the 12 weeks.
Results: Body Changes and Gut Health Improvements
After eating soymilk-okara powder daily, the volunteers showed noticeable improvements in body composition.
They gained an average of 0.6 kg of muscle, and their body fat percentage dropped by 0.9%. Plus, the more muscle a person gained, the more body fat they seemed to lose.
The soymilk-okara powder also seemed to change the types of bacteria found in the volunteers’ guts.
The researchers noticed significant shifts in the numbers of several bacterial groups, including Coriobacteriaceae, Lactobacillales, Bacteroides, and two types of Clostridium.
What’s more, the volunteers who lost more body fat also had higher levels of two specific molecules in their feces: acetic acid and propionic acid.
These molecules, known as short-chain fatty acids, are produced by gut bacteria and can influence our health in various ways.
Conclusion: Soymilk-Okara Powder for a Healthier Body and Gut
In conclusion, the researchers found that daily consumption of soymilk-okara powder can help improve body composition by increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat.
It can also change the composition of gut bacteria in a way that may promote health. This suggests that adding soymilk-okara powder to your diet could help you stay fit and maintain a healthy gut.
However, always remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet.
The research was published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.
Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.