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Am J Cardiol. 2008 Jul 1;102(1):84-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.02.100. Epub 2008 Apr 16.

Effect of soy nuts on adhesion molecules and markers of inflammation in hypertensive and normotensive postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.


Recently, it was shown that substituting soy nuts for nonsoy protein in a therapeutic lifestyle change (TLC) diet lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 9.9% and 6.8%, respectively, in postmenopausal women with hypertension and by 5.2% and 2.9%, respectively, in normotensive postmenopausal women. In this study, to examine mechanisms for these reductions, markers of inflammation were measured, including soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and matrix metalloproteinase-9. Sixty healthy postmenopausal women (48 normotensive and 12 with hypertension) were randomized in a crossover design to a TLC diet alone or a TLC diet in which 0.5 cups of soy nuts (25 g soy protein and 101 mg aglycone isoflavones) replaced 25 g of nonsoy protein daily. Each diet was followed for 8 weeks. Compared with the TLC diet alone, levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 were significantly lower on the soy diet in women with hypertension (623.6 +/- 153.8 vs 553.8 +/- 114.4 ng/ml, respectively, p = 0.003), whereas no significant differences were observed in normotensive women. Soy nuts were associated with a trend toward reduction in C-reactive protein in normotensive women. No effect on levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, interleukin-6, or matrix metalloproteinase-9 was observed. In conclusion, the reduction in soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 with soy nuts in women with hypertension suggests an improvement in endothelial function that may reflect an overall improvement in the underlying inflammatory process underlying atherosclerosis.

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