Re-evaluation of the soy proteinís effects to reduce cholesterol

by Medindia Content Team on  January 28, 2006 at 11:15 AM Diet & Nutrition News
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Re-evaluation of the soy proteinís effects to reduce cholesterol
Soya bean is very rich in proteins and it is considered as an important factor to reduce cholesterol. The soy protein reduced the bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein-LDL) and other risks of developing a heart problem.

But after the new study conducted by Dr. Frank M. Sacks, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, all the claims about soy was disproved. He said that it was not effective in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood. This might affect the US Food and Drug Administration decision about the product.

The American Heart Association (AHA), experts also reports that the new studies show that soy is not very effective against the bad cholesterol.

Previously it was thought that consuming 25 grams of soy protein/day drastically reduces cholesterol. Hence in1999 the FDA allowed the manufacturers to state that soy products might reduce the risk of heart disease. In 2000, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended that soy should be included in the list of foods, which is low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

But after this study FDA and the AHA are deciding to re-evaluate of the soy claim and the new review will be published in the journal Circulation.

Dr. Frank M. Sacks said that he is not telling that soy is bad or health but is not necessary to consider it as possessing the special properties of reducing the cholesterol in the blood. He also said that soy products are generally good, low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Sacks reviewed 22 studies on soy protein and found that it reduced the cholesterol level by 3% and has no effect on the HDL (good) cholesterol and on blood pressure.

The committee probed in to 19 studies that researched on isoflavones, the bioactive molecules found in soy. It was found that they had no effect on lowering triglyceride level in the blood or on improving the level of good cholesterol.

The committee also re-evaluated the studies of soy protein and isoflavones on menopause-related symptoms, such as hot flashes and found that they had no effect in easing these symptoms.

Sacks said that even claims of preventing breast, prostate and endometrial cancer b soy proteins were inconclusive. In case of humans the soy protein failed to reduce the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of prostate cancer development and in breast cancer it spurred the growth of the unwanted cells. Hence isoflavones supplements can be avoided.

But the National Prostate Cancer Coalition said that soy plays a very important role in the fight against prostate cancer by reducing the growth of prostate cancer. They said that the Asian diet was rich in soy products, which is why they have a very low incidence of. Prostate cancer when compared to that of the United States.

But Sacks refuted by saying that the lower rates in Asia may be due to other factors more than diet. He also repeated that though soy is a good diet it has the same amount and type of proteins found in fish. In conclusion he said that any day they are much better than meat products, which increases the risk of heart problem.


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