This past June, the American Heart Association (AHA) categorized soy as a dietary factor with unproven or uncertain effects on cardiovascular disease.

Recent studies do not confirm direct benefit of consuming soy on plasma cholesterol levels.

Mark Tallon, PhD, a consultant and co-founder of a company that supplies raw ingredients responds to the AHA statement in an article published in Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals. “The report from the AHA is ultimately flawed, as are so many soy studies,” he asserts, “because the impact of equol (4′, 7-isoflavandiol) production in subjects should always be taken into consideration.”

Apparently, the ability to produce equol differs among people and there is “a period of dietary acclimatization must be implemented before any trial.”

Based on this, perhaps the recommendation by the AHA is correct and more research is needed to determine precisely what component of soy is beneficial with respect to cardiovascular diseases and who might benefit.

7/26/06 17:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.