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Back To Vidyya Harvard Medical School Study:

Soy Consistently Lowers Cholesterol

Soy has "consistently lowered both total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol " in randomized tests, a health publication of Harvard Medical School reports.

"In most cases, it has also increased HDL (good) cholesterol," the Harvard Heart Letter says in its October issue. The Heart Letter is published by Harvard "to interpret medical information for the general reader in a timely and accurate fashion."

Reporting on the effects of a decision made one year ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to permit health claims that soy protein can help reduce the risk of heart disease, the Harvard letter also reported on other soy benefits.

"Soy has also been shown to improve the elasticity of blood vessels and to lower systolic blood pressure," the Heart Letter said. "The studies show that you need to eat at least 25 grams of soy protein daily to realize a significant cholesterol-lowering effect," it reported.

"The FDA, in recognizing this research, has stipulated that to qualify for heart-health claims, a food must contain at least 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving (25 percent of the beneficial daily amount.)

"Because soy protein can be added to a variety of foods, it's possible to consume some soy as part of all meals and snacks."

The Harvard Heart Letter listed as soy products that can supply soy protein soy milk, tofu, soy flour, soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, textured soy protein or tempeh, soy-based meat substitute, fresh green soybeans and soy nuts.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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