The effects of soy protein in women and men with elevated plasma lipids



Fifty four postmenopausal women with elevated cholesterol were recruited for a randomised, double-blind controlled trial of soy protein containing isoflavones. (ISP+) or a soy protein with a low isoflavone content (ISP-), taken daily for 12 weeks. There was an overall reduction after 12 weeks in total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and luteinizing hormone (LH). There were no significant differences between treatment groups. In a separate study 27 male subjects with a TC > 5.5 mmol/l were given ISP+ for 12 weeks. In this male study there was a significant increase in HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) and SHBG. Soy protein has a cholesterol lowering effect in both women and men. These studies suggest that this effect is independent of isoflavones. Soy protein also reduces SHBG levels in both sexes.