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Meta-analysis finds soy isoflavones lower LDL cholesterol
An analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials published in the September 1 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition (http://www.nutrition.org/) found that soy isoflavones were successful in lowering serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the type of cholesterol that when elevated is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers from Tokyo University of Agriculture sought to determine the effects of soy isoflavones on LDL cholesterol independently of the effects of soy protein. Eight trials involving a total of 639 men and women with and without high cholesterol met the researchers’ inclusion criteria. Participants in each study were administered a soy protein isolate which contained either a low or high level of isoflavones (ranging from 3 to 132 milligrams genistein, daidzein and glycitein per day) provided by the same amount of soy protein for each group. Dietary fat, cholesterol and fiber content were similar for all subjects. Serum levels of LDL cholesterol were measured before and after isoflavone supplementation.
Analysis of the studies findings showed that a high intake of isoflavones led to significantly greater reductions in serum LDL cholesterol compared to a low intake of isoflavones, with identical consumption of soy protein. The authors suggest that consuming 90 milligrams per day soy isoflavones for one to three months could lower the LDL concentrations of individuals with elevated cholesterol by an average of 7 milligrams per deciliter.
Elevated cholesterol is associated with a greater than normal risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. While antioxidants can inhibit cholesterol from oxidizing onto the linings of the arteries, knowing and controlling your cholesterol levels is still an important step in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is called the "bad" form of cholesterol. LDL carries most of the cholesterol in the blood, and the cholesterol from LDL is the main source of damaging accumulation and blockage in the arteries. Thus, the more LDLcholesterol you have in your blood, the greater your risk of disease. If you have coronary heart disease and your LDL is higher than 100 mg/dL, your cholesterol may well be too high.
The FDA has approved soy as a method of lowering the risk of coronary heart disease. For this dietary supplement, one research abstract says it all:
Soy has been a staple part of the Southeastern diet for nearly 5,000 years and is associated with a reduction in the rates of cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. The research is now showing that phytochemicals in soy are the mechanism of action responsible (Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine [United States], 1998, 217:386-92).
Diets rich in soy protein can protect against the development of atherosclerosis. The mechanisms of action of soy include cholesterol lowering, inhibition of LDL oxidation, protection against the development of atherosclerosis, and reduction in risk of thrombosis. The active constituents in soy responsible for these benefits are the isoflavones genistein, daidzein, and glycitein. In a study to determine whether soy isoflavones would protect against atherosclerosis in mice, it was reported that mice fed a soy diet averaged 30% lower cholesterol (J. Nutr. [United States], June 1998, 128:954-59).
The following nutritional supplements offer benefits to assist dietary modification to reduce total serum cholesterol and elevate HDL cholesterol:
- Policosanol, take one tablet twice per day with meals: one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
- Soluble fiber (psyllium, guar gum, and/or pectin), 4 to 6 grams before any high-fat meal.
- Chitosan, three to six 500 mg chitosan capsules and one 1000 mg ascorbic acid capsule right before a high-fat meal.
- Niacin, 1500 to 3000 mg a day (if tolerable).
- Artichoke extract, 300 mg, 3 times a day.
- Garlic, 900 to 8000 mg a day.
- Curcumin, 900 to 1800 mg a day.
- Gugulipid, 140 mg 1 to 2 times a day.
- Green tea, 350 mg a day of green tea, 95% polyphenol extract.
- Perilla oil, 6000 mg a day. We suggest taking six 1000 mg gel caps daily. If triglycerides are high, take 6000 mg of fish oil instead.
- Vitamin E, 400 to 800 IU daily.
- Soy protein extract, 2 heaping teaspoons (5 to 6 grams) of soy powder daily. Soy powder can be easily dispersed and has a light peanut butter taste. For those who want to avoid powders, one capsule of Mega Soy Extract twice a day may work as well.
- Selenium, 200 to 600 mcg daily.
Two 135 mg capsules of Mega Soy Extract provide more than twice the amount of active soy isoflavones consumed daily in Japan, where the risk of certain disorders is significantly less than in the West.
Herbal Cardiovascular Formula
Herbal Cardiovascular Formula provides a variety of herbs, herbal extracts, and plant enzymes that may enhance cardiovascular health.
Bromelain is a mixture of sulfur-containing proteolytic enzymes obtained from the stem of the pineapple plant. Bromelain can help break down fibrous substances within the body so that they can be metabolized normally.
Curcumin can help maintain normal healthy platetlet function and the normal process of bile excretions.
Gugulipid can act as an antioxidant, while helping to maintain normal lipid levels and platelet function. Its primary action is in maintaining the liver’s metabolism of low-density lipoproteins.
Ginger, similar to curcumin, also maintains normal healthy platetlet function. Ginger also has the ability to optimize overall a healthy functioning heart.
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