Dr. Cristin Mathew is no longer with NASA Bone & Joint Specialists. To schedule at his new practice, please call 281.335.1111

The Link Between Soy and Reduced Joint Pain


Does soy reduce joint pain? Based on web searching, it’s a common question among patients in the Houston area. We know that diet plays a large role in joint health at NASA Bone & Joint Specialists. So we investigated the link between soy intake and joint pain:


Can Soy Help My Joints?

Soy is an excellent dietary addition for patients with joint pain. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, meaning it may reduce inflammation within the body. Inflammatory chemicals attack the joint tissues, leading to more fluid in the joints and cartilage damage. This causes the painful symptoms patients experience. Immune cells called “macrophages” stimulate an inflammatory reaction, releasing chemicals into the body that promote excessive swelling. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to disrupt the macrophage’s reaction, reducing the level of CXCL-10 in the blood. The pain and swelling caused by inflammation is dramatically reduced when the inflammatory process is disturbed. (1) Patients looking for natural ways to reduce inflammation should aim for a diet rich in omega-3s, consuming ample amount of foods like soy.


How Can I Add More Soy to My Diet?

How can patients increase their consumption of soy? Foods rich in soy include:


01. Soybeans

Soybeans are consumed dried or cooked. Boiling and roasting are the most common ways to cook soybeans. They add omega-3 fatty acids to sauces and soups once cooked. These beans also are used as an easy, on-the-go snack.


02. Soymilk

Soymilk is used like regular milk – with an extra boost of omega-3s. Using soymilk in baking, smoothies, and even pancake mix ensures you are consuming plenty of inflammation-fighting soy.


03. Tofu

Tofu is a versatile source of soy, enabling it to be used in a variety of dishes. Add hard tofu to stir fry or pastas. Soft tofu can be incorporated into salad dressings, sauces, and even dessert, providing plenty of soy-rich options.


Soy and reduced joint pain are strongly linked, making soy intake essential for patients with sore, swollen joints. As always, before making significant dietary changes we recommend you discuss your plan with your primary care physician.  We offer many treatments for joint pain at NASA Bone & Joint Specialists, ranging from lifestyle changes to joint surgery. Call us at (281) 333-5114 or visit us at https://www.nasabone.com/contactus/ to learn about treatment options.


01. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology

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