Soy food consumption does not lower LDL cholesterol in either equol or nonequol producers

A.A. Thorp, P.R.C. Howe, Trevor Mori, A.M. Coates, J.D. Buckley, Jonathan Hodgson, Jacqueline Mansour, B.J. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health claims link soy protein (SP) consumption, through plasma cholesterol reduction, to a decreased risk of heart disease. Soy isoflavones (ISOs), particularly in individuals who produce equol, might also contribute to lipid lowering and thus reduce SP requirements.Objective: The objective was to examine the contributions of SP, ISOs, and equol to the hypocholesterolemic effects of soy foods.Design: Nonsoy consumers (33 men, 58 women) with a plasma total cholesterol (TChol) concentration >5.5 mmol/L participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover intervention trial. The subjects consumed 3 diets for 6 wk each in random order, which consisted of foods providing a daily dose of 1) 24g SP and 70-80mg ISOs (diet S); 2) 12 g SP, 12 g dairy protein (DP), and 70-80 mg ISOs (diet SD); and 3) 24g DP without ISOs (diet D). Fasting plasma TChol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (TGs) were measured after each diet.Results: TChol was 3% lower with the S diet (-0.17 +/- 0.06 mmol/L; P <0.05) than with the D diet, and TG were 4% lower with both the S (-0.14 +/- 0.05 mmol/L; P < 0.05) and SD (-0.12 +/- 0.05 mmol/L; P < 0.05) diets. There were no significant effects on LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or the TChol: HDL cholesterol ratio. On the basis of urinary ISOs, 30 subjects were equol producers. Lipids were not affected significantly by equol production.Conclusions: Regular consumption of foods providing 24 g SP/d from ISOs had no significant effect on plasma LDL cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects, regardless of equol-producing status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-304
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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