HEALTH and WELLNESS
Studies have shown that soy protein reduces some atherogenic lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, although lipoprotein(a) concentrations may be increased. The dose response of soy protein has not been established; neither has its effect on plasma total homocysteine.
Our objective was to evaluate the effect of 2 doses of soy protein on lipid, lipoprotein, and homocysteine concentrations.
Four to 24 wk after being instructed to consume a lipid-lowering diet, 130 men and women with LDL-cholesterol concentrations > or = 4 mmol/L were studied during a parallel group trial in which 4 interventions were assigned randomly. Thirty grams isolated soy protein (ISP) and 10 g cotyledon fiber or 50 g ISP and 16.6 g cotyledon fiber or equivalent doses of casein and cellulose were consumed daily as a beverage for 16 wk.
When the 2 groups who consumed ISP were compared with the 2 groups who consumed casein, the differences in the net changes from baseline to week 16 in the concentrations of LDL cholesterol and plasma total homocysteine were -0.26 mmol/L (95% CI: -0.43, -0.09 mmol/L; P = 0.01) and -0.8 micromol/L (-1.4, -0.2 micromol/L; P = 0.005), respectively. The effect of the ISP dose was not significant. There were no significant differences between the 2 ISP and the 2 casein groups in changes in lipoprotein(a), HDL-cholesterol, or triacylglycerol concentrations.
Adding 30-50 g soy protein/d to a lipid-lowering diet significantly reduced LDL-cholesterol concentrations without increasing lipoprotein(a) concentrations. Plasma total homocysteine concentrations also decreased, suggesting a novel, possibly antiatherosclerotic effect.