Life Extension Update
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Meta-analysis finds soy isoflavones lower LDL cholesterol
Researchers from Tokyo University of Agriculture sought to determine the effects of soy isoflavones on LDL cholesterol independently of the effects of soy protein. Eight trials involving a total of 639 men and women with and without high cholesterol met the researchers’ inclusion criteria. Participants in each study were administered a soy protein isolate which contained either a low or high level of isoflavones (ranging from 3 to 132 milligrams genistein, daidzein and glycitein per day) provided by the same amount of soy protein for each group. Dietary fat, cholesterol and fiber content were similar for all subjects. Serum levels of LDL cholesterol were measured before and after isoflavone supplementation.
Analysis of the studies findings showed that a high intake of isoflavones led to significantly greater reductions in serum LDL cholesterol compared to a low intake of isoflavones, with identical consumption of soy protein. The authors suggest that consuming 90 milligrams per day soy isoflavones for one to three months could lower the LDL concentrations of individuals with elevated cholesterol by an average of 7 milligrams per deciliter.
Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is called the "bad" form of cholesterol. LDL carries most of the cholesterol in the blood, and the cholesterol from LDL is the main source of damaging accumulation and blockage in the arteries. Thus, the more LDLcholesterol you have in your blood, the greater your risk of disease. If you have coronary heart disease and your LDL is higher than 100 mg/dL, your cholesterol may well be too high.
The FDA has approved soy as a method of lowering the risk of coronary heart disease. For this dietary supplement, one research abstract says it all:
Soy has been a staple part of the Southeastern diet for nearly 5,000 years and is associated with a reduction in the rates of cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. The research is now showing that phytochemicals in soy are the mechanism of action responsible (Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine [United States], 1998, 217:386-92).
Diets rich in soy protein can protect against the development of atherosclerosis. The mechanisms of action of soy include cholesterol lowering, inhibition of LDL oxidation, protection against the development of atherosclerosis, and reduction in risk of thrombosis. The active constituents in soy responsible for these benefits are the isoflavones genistein, daidzein, and glycitein. In a study to determine whether soy isoflavones would protect against atherosclerosis in mice, it was reported that mice fed a soy diet averaged 30% lower cholesterol (J. Nutr. [United States], June 1998, 128:954-59).
The following nutritional supplements offer benefits to assist dietary modification to reduce total serum cholesterol and elevate HDL cholesterol:
Two 135 mg capsules of Mega Soy Extract provide more than twice the amount of active soy isoflavones consumed daily in Japan, where the risk of certain disorders is significantly less than in the West.
Herbal Cardiovascular Formula provides a variety of herbs, herbal extracts, and plant enzymes that may enhance cardiovascular health.
Curcumin can help maintain normal healthy platetlet function and the normal process of bile excretions.
Gugulipid can act as an antioxidant, while helping to maintain normal lipid levels and platelet function. Its primary action is in maintaining the liver’s metabolism of low-density lipoproteins.
Ginger, similar to curcumin, also maintains normal healthy platetlet function. Ginger also has the ability to optimize overall a healthy functioning heart.
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