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J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2002 Jul;16(4):50-63; quiz 75-6.

The cardiovascular effects of soy products.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA.


In human clinical intervention trials, soy product consumption reduced levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). In October 1999, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a health claim for the relationship between consumption of soy protein and reduced risk of coronary heart disease. This article provides an overview of the cardiovascular effects of various soy products, including their effects on blood lipids, LDL-C oxidation, blood pressure, and vascular reactivity. Potential mechanisms of effect are discussed, emphasizing human clinical intervention trials. Soy consumption improves plasma lipids, although this effect appears to be more pronounced in individuals with elevated cholesterol. Soy and its associated isoflavones also reduce LDL oxidation and improve vascular reactivity.

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