Several observational studies and trials examined the relationship between isoflavones or soybeans and depressive symptoms among peri- and postmenopausal women. We cross-sectionally evaluated the associations between intake of soy products and isoflavones and depressive symptoms during pregnancy in Japan.
Study subjects were 1745 pregnant women. Dietary intake during the preceding month was assessed using a self-administered diet history questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were defined by a score of 16 or over in the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.
Higher intake of total soy products, tofu, tofu products, fermented soybeans, boiled soybeans, miso soup, and isoflavones was independently related to a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy: The adjusted prevalence ratios (95 % confidence intervals, P for trend) between extreme quartiles were 0.63 (0.47–0.85, 0.002), 0.72 (0.54–0.96, 0.007), 0.74 (0.56–0.98, 0.04), 0.57 (0.42–0.76, <0.0001), 0.73 (0.55–0.98, 0.03), 0.65 (0.49–0.87, 0.003), and 0.63 (0.46–0.86, 0.002), respectively. A significant positive exposure–response relationship was found between miso intake and depressive symptoms during pregnancy. No material relationship was observed between soymilk intake and depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
Our study is the first to show independent inverse relationships between intake of total soy products, tofu, tofu products, fermented soybeans, boiled soybeans, miso soup, and isoflavones and depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
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This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 19590606, 20791654, 21590673, 22592355, 22119507, 24390158, 25463275, and 25670305, by Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants for Research on Allergic Disease and Immunology and Health Research on Children, Youth and Families from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, by Meiji Co. Ltd., by the Food Science Institute Foundation, and by the Japan Health Foundation. The authors would like to acknowledge the Kyushu Branch of the Japan Allergy Foundation, the Fukuoka Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Okinawa Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Miyazaki Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Oita Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Kumamoto Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Nagasaki Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Kagoshima Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Saga Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Fukuoka Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Okinawa Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Fukuoka City Government, and the Fukuoka City Medical Association for their valuable support.
Conflict of interest
Y.M. and K.T. were financially supported by Meiji Co. Ltd. The other authors have no conflict of interest.
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Miyake, Y., Tanaka, K., Okubo, H. et al. Soy isoflavone intake and prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy in Japan: baseline data from the Kyushu Okinawa Maternal and Child Health Study. Eur J Nutr 57, 441–450 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-016-1327-5