I have a deep love for sushi. And my sushi experience almost always includes edamame (steamed soybeans). Who knew my sushi addiction was actually providing me with an anticarcinogenic agent?
A recent article in ScienceDaily discusses a report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that soybeans soaked in warm water could become a new "green" source for a cancer-fighting substance, the Bowman-Birk Protease Inhibitor (BBI).
The scientists explained that BBI has shown promise for preventing certain forms of cancer in clinical trials.
According to another article, "The Bowman-Birk inhibitor from soybeans as an anticarcinogenic agent1–3," BBI appears to be a universal cancer preventive agent. Purified BBI and BBIC (concentrate) suppress carcinogenesis:
In several organ systems and tissue types [e.g., colon, liver, lung, esophagus, cheek pouch (oral epithelium), and cells of hematopoietic origin]; and in cells of epithelial and connective tissue origin when given to animals by several different routes of administration, including the diet.
Currently, extracting BBI is a complicated and time-consuming industrial (chemical-laden) process. However, the scientists found soybean seeds brewed in water at 122 degrees Fahrenheit naturally release large amounts of BBI, which can be harvested easily from the water.
"The abundance of BBI in soybean seed exudates by incubating the seeds in warm water provides a simple and alternative method to isolate this low molecular weight protein," researchers told ScienceDaily.
As researchers continue to unravel this amazing find, I'm going to keep popping the edamame (and the sushi)!