Diabetes occurs when cells cannot obtain the glucose (blood sugar) they need in order to survive.
Normally, glucose is produced when the body breaks down complex carbohydrates. Cells need insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, to absorb glucose.
In diabetics, natural insulin may be present, but cells do not recognize it as such and so cannot absorb glucose. Research into soy’s effect on diabetes found less glucose in the urine of diabetics who consumed soybeans. This could indicate that their cells were able to absorb more glucose.
Soluble fiber, found in soy, may help to regulate glucose levels. Scientists also believe that a high-fiber, high-carbohydrate diet may actually help enable cells to recognize the insulin in the bloodstream. It is important to note, however, that the fiber content in soyfoods can vary significantly.