Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 05.02.2023

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Glycine max (L.) Merr.; Soya

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Crop plant of the legume family (Fabaceae or Leguminosae), subfamily Faboideae, see soybean. It is related to the common bean, peas, lentils, lipins and peanuts.

General information
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The soybean is an oil plant with a high content of protein, lecithin and oils. Usually the oil is extracted first, the remaining mass (soya extraction meal or soya cake) is used as animal feed, but is also used as a meat and milk substitute (cow's milk allergy) in the form of soya milk. Soya products are contained in many foods. Fresh green pods ("pods") or various protein products (tofu and soy sauce) are used for direct human consumption.

Soya oil is contained in the following preparations in medical exteriors
:Balneum Hermal®, Oil Bath Cordes®, Oleobal®, Sulfo Oil Bath Cordes®, furthermore in the recipe of a paraffin soya oil bath monographed by the NRF (NRF 11.97.).

Various soy extracts and soy components are used in cosmetic formulations:

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Serine protease inhibitors are found in the extract of soybeans which are said to have a skin lightening potential (anti-aging). In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, a lightening effect could be achieved with a soy cream. see under soy plant

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The soya bean was cultivated in China some 5000 years ago and was considered one of the five sacred grains there, along with rice, wheat, barley and millet. Its spread beyond China and Japan came very late. The plant was discovered for Europe in the 17th century.

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  1. Wallo W et al (2007) Efficacy of a soy moisterizer in photoaging: a double-blind, vehicle-controlled, 12-week study. J Drugs Dermatol 6: 917-922


Last updated on: 05.02.2023