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Soya Bean

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Soya bean plant scientifically named as Glycine max is a species of legume native to East Asia. This plant is belongs to genus Glycine, subfamily Faboideae and family Fabaceae. The plant grows up to two meters in height. The leaves are ovate and the papilionacious flowers are not very conspicuous. The seeds are borne in hairy pods and may vary in number from two to five in each pod.
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Botanical Names
Glycine max
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Raja shimbi Marathi : Soya bean Hindi : Soya bean Tamil : Soya
Chemical Constituents
Soya bean is a good source of proteins. It contains number of vitamins and other beneficial chemical constituents such as vitamin A, vitamin B, thiamine, niacin vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. The beans also contain significant amounts of phytic acid, alpha-Linolenic acid, isoflavones genistein and daidzein (1). The principal soluble carbohydrates of soybeans are the disaccharide sucrose. The insoluble carbohydrates in soybeans consist of the complex polysaccharides cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and pectin. The majority of carbohydrates of soybean are belongs to dietary fiber. Some active components present in Soya bean are linoliec acid, Beta-amylase, papain, allantoinase, lectin, saponins, sapogenins, phytoalexin, sterols, stigmasterol, tocopherols, and phospholipids.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeia perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Soya beans are very nutritious and it is a great source of proteins. It is beneficial in the treatment of malnutrition, allergies, diabetes, skin, osteoporosis, and eye diseases. It also possesses anticancer activity. It is effective in case of breast cancer (3). Soya bean is regarded as a very suitable food for diabetic patients as it contains a fairly large amount of carbohydrate but there is little or no starch in it. Its carbohydrate produces heat and energy in the body without causing sugar to appear in the urine (4). It is very effective in skin diseases. Improvement in skin health presumably occurs due to its lecithin content a natural emulsifier which helps to disperse fatty deposits and cholesterol from vital organs. The higher sterol content in Soybean-germ oil is related to its enhanced cholesterol lowering effects. Soybean has high lecithin content and is therefore excellent for mental fatigue and for protection against cholesterol deposits (5). Lecithin also lowers the blood cholesterol through emulsification of fats and is valuable against the development and hardening of the arteries and all the complications of the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes that follow. Lecithin is a brain food, a tonic and energizer. It has been reported that diabetic patients were successfully treated with lecithin. It has also been reported that lecithin is effective in treating psoriasis. It also prevents gall stones, when adequate lecithin is included in diet. Because of the high content of linoleic and linolenic acids this food is conducive to a healthy skin and corrects many cases of eczema.
Health Benefits
Soya beans are considered to be a source of complete protein as it contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body. Consumption of soybeans also reduces the risk of colon cancer, due to the presence of sphingo lipids. Soya beans contain oligosaccharides such as raffinose and stachyose which encourage indigenous bifido bacteria in the colon against putrefactive bacteria. While most of the proteins are acid in their ash, soya bean is rich in alkaline ¬bearing salts and hence regarded as a corrective diet. Soya beans are the chief source of lecithin, which is a great natural emulsifier. Lecithin is well known to help to disperse deposits of fatty materials and cholesterol in certain vital organs. It is rich in substances which are important for the proper functioning of all living cells in the body. It is also an important component around brain and nerve cells. In addition, soy also contains magnesium and boron, which are important co-factors of calcium for bone health. Isoflavones in soy foods inhibit the breakdown of bones. Daidzein, a type of isoflavone, is actually very similar to the drug ipriflavone, which is used to treat osteoporosis. Isoflavones also possess anticancer activities (6). It contains genistein, daidzein, apigenin, and biochanin A. Genistein has the highest antioxidant activity and its antioxidant properties are responsible for its anti carcinogenic effect. The high genistein content of soybeans favors genistein as a promising candidate for the prevention of cancers.
Application in Cosmetics
Other than the internal benefits attributed to soy, research has shown that soy possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on skin. The component in soy responsible for these effects is isoflavones, a class of plant compounds abundant in soybeans. One of the best beauty benefits of soy is that it is great for combating ageing. Isoflavone, a substance derived from soy, mimics oestrogen's effects on the body. Isoflavone stimulate the production of collagen, which keeps skin firm and elastic and looking young. In ageing women, decreasing oestrogen is one cause of deepening wrinkles. Thus soya bean helps to keep wrinkles at bay. Genistein, the most abundant isoflavone of the soy derived phyto estrogen compounds is potent antioxidant and possess sunscreen activity. Genistein acts as inhibitor of tyrosine kinase which is responsible for melanin production. Thus it acts as potent sunscreen. Genistein has shown anti photo carcinogenic effects in SKH-1 murine skin, including its capacity for scavenging reactive oxygen species, inhibiting photodynamic DNA damage and down regulating UVB(ultra violet B)-induced signal transduction cascades in carcinogenesis.
Research References
1. Lisa K. K., Laura L. B., Pam L. U., Krista E. Z., Rodney L. F., Carl M. P., and George C. F. Chemical Composition and Nutritional Quality of Soybean Meals Prepared by Extruder/Expeller Processing for Use in Poultry Diets. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006, 54 (21): 8108–8114 2. Yuhei M., Fumio Y., Shigeo A., and Honami Y., Chemical Composition and Properties of Soybean /3-Amylase1 /. Biochem 1976.(79): 591-603 3. Suzuki T., Matsuo K., Tsunoda N., Hirose K., Hiraki A., Kawase T., Yamashita T., Iwata H., Tanaka H., and Tajima K. Effect of soybean on breast cancer according to receptor status: a case-control study in Japan. Int J Cancer. 2008. 123(7):1674-80. 4. Guang-Y. T., Xue-J. L. and Hong-Y. Z. Antidiabetic Components Contained in Vegetables and Legumes Molecules 2008, 13, 1189-1194 5. Suthar A. C., Banavalikar M. M. and Biyani M. K. Pharmacological activities of Genistein, an isoflavone from soy (Glycine max): part II--anti-cholesterol activity, effects on osteoporosis & menopausal symptoms Indian J Exp Biol. 2001 39(6):520-525. 6. Aedin C., Paola A., Inge L. N., Wendy H., Gary W., Inge T., Steve A., Heide C., Yannis M., Alicja W., Claudia S. and Francesco B. Critical review of health effects of soyabean phyto-oestrogens in post-menopausal women Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 2006, 65:76–92. 7. Huei M. L., Bong-Ki M., Fei Y. and Hyeong-Reh C. K. Galectin-3 mediates genistein-induced G2/M arrest and inhibits apoptosis Carcinogenesis 21(11):1941-1945. 8. Dae Y. K., James W. D., Hyun J. K., and Sunmin P. Antidiabetic effects of fermented soybean products on type 2 diabetes 2010 30( 1): 1-13