Soy protein helps lower total cholesterol, low-density lipid "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, and slightly raises high-density lipid "good" cholesterol, according to a Tulane University study published in the Sept. 1, 2006 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.
The Tulane study gives strong support to the notion that soy protein should be part of a comprehensive dietary intervention for the prevention and treatment of high blood cholesterol levels. Replacing foods high in saturated fat, trans-saturated fat and cholesterol with soy foods, such as tofu or soy milk, should be beneficial to cardiovascular health.
Kristi Reynolds, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a team of Tulane colleagues analyzed data from 41 different studies on the effects of isolated soy protein on blood cholesterol levels.
The studies analyzed by the team were all randomized controlled trials conducted from 1982 through 2004 among adult participants. A total of 1,756 adults participated in these trials, with 27 of the 41 trials carried out in the United States.