Cholesterol/LipidsFlavonoids (Soy)

Defining the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy

An earlier review concluded that replacing foods high in saturated fat, trans-saturated fat, and cholesterol with soy protein might have a beneficial effect on coronary risk factors.

This re-analysis of the literature concurs and goes a step further.

Soy isoflavones, soy depleted in isoflavones, and soy enriched in isoflavones were compared. The following findings are significant.

Soy isoflavones

  • Total cholesterol: -3.9 mg/dL or 2%
  • LDL (bad): cholesterol: -5.0 mg/dL or 4%

Isoflavone-depleted soy protein

  • LDL cholesterol: -3.9 mg/dL or 3%

Soy containing enriched isoflavones

  • LDL cholesterol: -7.0 mg/dL or 5%
  • HDL cholesterol: +1.6 mg/dL or 3%

The bottom line?
Soy isoflavones significantly reduced blood levels of total and LDL cholesterol. Soy protein that contained enriched or depleted isoflavones also improved lipid profiles.

Reductions in LDL cholesterol were greater in people with high cholesterol levels compared to people with normal cholesterol levels.

This work helps define the effects of soy constituents responsible lipid fractions.

4/10/07 21:59 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.