Eating fermented soy products may reduce the risk of premature death, researchers report. Some soy products, like tofu, are not fermented. But others — miso, natto and tempeh, for example — are made using bacteria or mold in a fermentation process. The study, in BMJ, followed 92,915 Japanese men and women. The researchers found that compared with those in the lowest one-fifth for fermented soy intake, those in the highest one-fifth had a 10% lower risk of death. Those in the highest one-fifth for natto intake, but not miso, had an 18% lower risk of cardiovascular disease death.

Pregnancy tied to lower early menopause risk

Pregnancy and breast-feeding are associated with a reduced risk for early menopause, research suggests. Menopause before age 45 has been linked to osteoporosis, depression, dementia, cardiovascular disease and premature death. The study found that compared with women who had no babies, those who had one had an 8% reduced risk for early menopause, those who had two had a 16% lower risk and women who had three had a 22% lower risk. Independent of the number of pregnancies, one to six months of lifetime exclusive breast-feeding was associated with a 5% reduced risk for early menopause, seven to 12 months with a 28% reduced risk and 13 to 18 months with a 20% reduced risk.

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