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Soy products lower cholesterol

Even a moderate intake of soy protein can have a positive impact on the various blood lipids. This is evident from a new meta-analysis of the impact of soy protein on the cholesterol.

This new meta-analysis, unlike previous meta-analyses, focused on studies involving the intake of soy protein or soy in practically feasible quantities (15 to 40 grams soy protein per day). The average intake was 26.9 grams, which is slightly more than 25 grams, recommended for the health claims made since 2002 in the United Kingdom and since 1999 in the United States. 25 g soy protein corresponds to three to four soy consumptions.

This meta-analysis is based on data from 28 studies involving more than 3,000 subjects. The average reduction in LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) is around 6%. Such a reduction is significant and is equivalent to a reduction in the risk of a heart attack by about 12 to 15%.

Furthermore, the investigation shows that there is no connection between the intake of soy protein and the extent of the reduction of LDL-cholesterol: an intake of 15 grams soy protein in other words, was as effective as a n intake of 40 g. In addition, the analysis shows that the threshold of effectiveness for soy protein somewhere around 15 g per day. This is very important information for consumers, since it demonstrates that there is no daily need for 25grams of soy protein in order to make a favourable claim regarding the reduction of LDL-cholesterol. Lower intale, especially over a long period can be as effective.
The scientists conclude that this new meta-analysis supports the existing health claim for soy protein. They confirm that a moderate intake of soy protein has a positive effect on the blood lipids.

Source: Systematic review, meta-analysis and regression of randomised controlled trials reporting an association between an intake of circa 25 g soya protein per day and blood cholesterol, van J I Harland en T A Haffner, Atherosclerosis (2008)

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