ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
CANCER
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
CAREGIVING
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans Fat Labeling Gets Tricky
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Add your Article

Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Eating foods with soy protein has been promoted as a way to lower cholesterol, but a new study finds it has no significant effect on cholesterol levels.

The findings "do not support the current health claims for soy protein in a general population," said study author Peter R.C. Howe, director of the Nutritional Physiology Research Centre at the Sansom Institute for Health Research at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

He's referring to the health claims approved for soy foods in both the United States and the United Kingdom that link daily consumption of 25 grams of soy protein to a reduction in heart disease risk through a lowering of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol.

Howe's team studied 35 men and 58 women, average age 52, who had mildly high cholesterol levels. He assigned each participant to rotate through one of three diets for six weeks each. Each diet had varying amounts of soy protein and isoflavones, substances in soy that some experts say may have cholesterol-lowering powers.

One diet contributed 24 grams of soy protein and 71 milligrams of isoflavone equivalents, one had 12 grams of dairy protein and 12 of soy protein, with 76 milligrams of isoflavones. The dairy diet, which served as the control, had 24 grams of dairy protein without isoflavones.

Howe's team measured each person's blood cholesterol -- LDL, HDL and trigylcerides -- at the start of the study and after each six-week diet.

They found no significant effect of the diets with either 24 grams or 12 grams of soy protein on LDL levels.

In his research, Howe also looked closely at whether a person's ability to maximize the body's response to soy protein had a better cholesterol-lowering effect. These people are termed "equol producers" because of their above-average ability to make equol, a substance produced in the intestines as a metabolite of a potent soy isoflavone called daidzen. Equol is thought to inhibit LDL.

When Howe compared the cholesterol-lowering effects of those who were equol producers with those who were not, he found no differences.

Howe's study was confined to those with mildly high cholesterol; he said it may have an effect on those with higher cholesterol levels. And the soy diets did lower triglycerides, a blood fat, by 4 percent.

The findings were published in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Even though the study found no effect of the soy protein on LDL cholesterol, Dr. Frank Sacks, a professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, called the research interesting. One facet he finds especially intriguing, he said, is the finding that equol producers have no benefit either.

After a series of studies on soy and its effect on cholesterol, the American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee, of which Sacks is vice-chairman, reviewed the evidence and issued an advisory, saying there is "nothing special" about soy or isoflavones for improving cholesterol and that the heart association doesn't recommend isoflavone supplements.

However, "there are other benefits to soy foods," Sacks said. They are healthy due to high levels of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. But, he added, "forget soy protein for lowering LDL."

More information

To learn more about LDL cholesterol, visit the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Frank Sacks, M.D., vice chairman, American Heart Association Nutrition committee, and professor, nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Peter R.C. Howe, professor, and director, Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide; August 2008, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Last Updated: Aug. 08, 2008

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