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Research Links Soy Protein with Heart Health (press release)

Friday, August 18, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

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Cardiovascular diseases kill more than 16 million people worldwide and account for some 30 percent of all deaths each year. In the United States, heart disease and stroke, the main components of cardiovascular disease, account for nearly 40 percent of all adult deaths. Physicians have known for many years that lifestyle change helps prevent heart attack and stroke. Only recently, however, have scientists studied how a diet low in fat and rich in soy protein helps lower cholesterol and may help reduce one’s risk of heart disease.

Soy Protein’s Role in Lowering Cholesterol

Two daily servings of soy protein can lower blood cholesterol levels by as much as 9 percent, according to a new study by a scientist at the University of Kentucky – Lexington. (1) More than 40 other studies have also found that adding soy protein to the diet, or replacing animal protein with soy, lowers blood cholesterol. (2,3) In a 1995 meta-analysis of 38 clinical studies, researchers found that soy protein resulted in a 12.9 percent average reduction in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. (4)

1 Anderson, JW. University of Kentucky. 2005. 2 Carroll KK. J Am Dier Assoc, 91:820, 1991. 3 Sitori CR, Even R, Lovatt, MR. Ann NY Acad Sci, 676:188, 1993. 4 Anderson JW, Johonstone BM, Cook-Newell ME. N Engl J Med 333:276, 1995.

American Heart Association, FDA Endorse Soy Protein

A strong body of research into soy protein and heart disease prevention has prompted many health experts to endorse the value of soy protein within a low fat, low cholesterol diet. In 1999, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an unqualified health claim in support of soy’s heart health benefits, which came in response to a body of scientific evidence compiled, reviewed and presented by The Solae Company. The claim is based on scientific evidence from more than 50 independent studies, many of which included soy protein from The Solae Company.

This month, the American Heart Association publicly acknowledged that soy protein was a high quality, heart healthy protein source. Many foods containing soy protein are considered beneficial because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and low content of saturated fat.

Additional Health Benefits of Soy

Researchers have found other ways in which soy protein may help reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular diseases. Blood clots, for example, can completely block an artery that has already been narrowed by atherosclerosis. Research findings suggest that certain bioactive properties found in soyfoods may help prevent these blockages from occurring, thereby reducing the chances of heart attack or stroke. (5,6) Still more research has indicated that soy protein may be linked to lower blood pressure. (7) Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and/or kidney failure. More research is still needed, and scientists continue to examine soy protein’s affect on a variety of heart health issues.

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