Soy protein may drop high cholesterol in diabetics

August 26, 2009 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Soy protein may drop high cholesterol in diabetics

Eating more soy protein may reduce blood cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the University of Guelph.

In this study, the Canadian researchers recruited 29 type 2 diabetics and randomly assigned them to consume a daily dose of soy protein isolate, or milk protein for 57 days. At the end of the intervention they ate normally for 28 days before switching to the protein they hadn't tried.  

Consumption of 40 grams of soy protein isolate each day for 57 days resulted in significant reductions in both "bad" LDL cholesterol and the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol, compared to consumption of the same dose of milk protein.

Specifically, blood levels of LDL cholesterol were 0.17 mmol/l l lower when the volunteers were supplementing with soy protein versus milk protein.

High LDL cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease among other diseases.  This study suggests that soy is an effective dietary strategy for adults with type 2 diabetes who are at a higher risk for heart disease.

Enjoying soy foods as an alternative to meat as a source of protein reduces saturated fat intake, another risk factor for heart disease. To add more soy to your diet, try adding chopped firm tofu to canned or homemade soups and stews.

For more tips on how to eat more soy and lower your heart disease risk, check out Foods That Fight Disease by Leslie Beck, RD.  

These findings were published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.