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  • 1 University Sains Malaysia Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology 11800 Minden, Penang Malaysia
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The consumption of soy has long been associated with various health-enhancing effects including hypocholesterolemia, antihypertension, alleviation of post-menopausal symptoms, and reducing risks of ovarian cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Past studies have indicated that these effects are mediated by bioactive components of soy such as isoflavones and bioactive peptides. However, some of these bioactive components could only confer health benefits upon bioconversion by gastrointestinal microorganisms in the intestines. This has led to increased interest to evaluate the possibility of utilizing probiotics to enhance the bioactivities of soyfoods. Probiotics are live microorganisms that could exert health benefits on the host when administered in adequate amounts. Probiotic-fermented soyfoods have been shown to have increased antihypertensive properties and could better alleviate menopausal associated disorders. However, this area is relatively new and although seemed promising, most of the recent findings have emphasized on in vitro evaluations, while the lack of in-vivo evidence and/or incompatible outcomes between in vitro experiments and in-vivo trials has led to the need to better understand the exact mechanisms involved. This present review highlights some of the benefits of soy and addresses the currently investigated bioactivities of probiotic-fermented soyfoods.

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