Pulling the Rug Out from Underneath Soy Protein Claims

by Matt Weik

Some people swear by soy protein, while the majority of those out there are perfectly fine with using whey protein powder. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said enough is enough with one of the claims being thrown around out there regarding soy protein benefits. It took them nearly 20 years to pull the plug on the claim, but the time is now and it could change the views many have regarding soy protein.

Not so fast…

When soy protein hit the market, many people were a little standoffish. Then, many health nuts started gravitating to it and left whey protein in their dust. However, most of the fitness-minded individuals who were focusing on building quality lean muscle mass still stuck to their tried and true whey protein (concentrate or isolate) powder. In fact, many of them refused to touch anything that had to do with soy protein at all (even within a blend).

The FDA has never revoked a health claim, but with recent research being published showing inconsistencies with the claim, they decided to revoke the right for brands to say that soy protein provides heart health benefits. In a statement, the FDA mentioned, “Our review of that evidence has led us to conclude that the relationship between soy protein and heart disease does not meet the rigorous standard for an FDA-authorized health claim.”

Meanwhile, the American Heart Association (AHA) has been arguing that the benefits of soy protein had little to no effects at all when it came to reducing the risk of heart disease. They mentioned, “Direct cardiovascular health benefits of soy protein or isoflavone supplements is minimal at best. Consumer research conducted by AHA, the FDA and others have repeatedly shown that despite the presence of qualifying language, consumers do not understand qualified health claims and do not understand that they are based on limited and varying degrees of evidence.”

Standing your ground

Maybe us fitness nuts weren’t wrong after all? We stood our ground touting whey protein reigning supreme, and now we can put another feather in our cap. Will this be the demise of soy protein powders? No, probably not. Will it hurt their overall sales? Yes. I’m sure this will cause some loss of sales for brands selling and using soy protein in their products. Now go make yourself a nice big whey protein shake and celebrate soy protein being knocked down a few pegs by the FDA!


Reuters. “FDA Moves to Revoke Claim That Soy Protein Protects the Heart.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 31 Oct. 2017.