Soybeans Ameliolate Diabetic Nephropathy in Rats
Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most frequent and serious complications of diabetes mellitus. Soybeans have been shown to reduce urinary albumin excretion and total cholesterol in non-diabetic patients with nephrotic syndrome. However, reports focusing specifically on diabetic nephropathy are scarce and the available results are inconsistent. It was reported that soybean consumption reduced urinary protein excretion in type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy, whereas it was found to elicit an increase in urinary protein excretion when soybeans were consumed by type 2 diabetic patients. This study aims to investigate the effects of soybean in diabetic nephropathy, particularly the effects of consuming soybeans on the histopathology of diabetic nephropathy, using aquaporin (AQP) and osteopontin (OPN) expression as diagnostic markers. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to one of three groups: control, diabetic with red chow diet and diabetic with soybean diet. For histological examination, the expression of OPN and AQP, renal function and hemoglobin A1c were evaluated at the end of the study. Improvements in glomerular and tubulointerstitial lesions were demonstrated in the diabetic rat group given a soybean diet. OPN and AQP expression were suppressed in the kidney specimens of diabetic rats with the soybean diet. In conclusion, soybeans may prevent the weight loss and morphological disruption of the kidney associated with diabetes mellitus. Soybeans also may improve glycemic control. It seems likely that long-term control of blood glucose levels using a soybean diet could prevent the progression of diabetes mellitus, and therefore, nephropathy could be prevented.