Differences in rates of cardiovascular disease and associated
deaths between Pacific Rim (Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.)
and Western countries have been attributed to differences
in diet. With
many Asian populations in Pacific Rim countries consuming
30-50 times more soy protein than their Western counterparts,
it has been suggested that the isoflavones naturally present
in soy products may account for these differences.
Previous evidence supports the notion that isoflavones reduce
the risk of cardiovascular disease by regulating cholesterol
levels. To further investigate this potential relationship,
a nine-week trial involving 156 men and women compared the
effects of isolated soy protein vs. casein (milk) protein
on plasma lipid/lipoprotein concentrations. Subjects were
all diagnosed at baseline with moderate hypercholesterolemia
(high cholesterol) and received either 25 grams of milk protein
or 25 grams of soy protein (with 3, 27, 37 or 62 mg of isoflavones)
Results: Compared with milk protein, isolated soy
protein with 62 mg of isoflavones lowered total cholesterol
and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL - the "bad" cholesterol).
These reductions were even greater in patients with higher
LDL levels. Furthermore, the soy protein appeared to provide
these benefits without depleting high-density lipoprotein
levels (HDL - the "good" cholesterol).
The soybean has been cultivated and consumed in China for
more than 5,000 years. If you haven't yet incorporated soy
into your diet, what are you waiting for? To find out more
about the many benefits of soy, and to discuss a comprehensive
nutrition and wellness program that's right for you, schedule
an appointment with your chiropractor.
Crouse JR III, Morgan T, Terry JG, et al. A randomized trial
comparing the effect of casein with that of soy protein containing
varying amounts of isoflavones on plasma concentrations of
lipids and lipoproteins. Archives of Internal Medicine
1999: Vol. 159, pp2070-76.