Washington: A new study has found that soy protein reduces the progression of clogged arteries in women who were within five years of menopause.
This study was the largest and longest randomised controlled human study conducted to-date that directly investigated the efficacy of isolated soy protein consumption on the progression of atherosclerosis (lipid deposition in the artery walls).
“These results are consistent with what we have learned through research conducted over the past decade,” said Howard N. Hodis, MD, USC Keck School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
“The literature demonstrates that there is a ``window of opportunity`` of a potential beneficial effect on coronary heart disease for products that bind to the estrogen receptor including hormone-replacement therapy, soybean isoflavones or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) when initiated in women within 5-6 years of menopause,” he said.
The progression rate of carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) trended to be 16 percent lower on average in the isoflavone-containing soy protein group compared with the placebo group.
However, in women who had experienced menopause within the past five years, isolated soy protein consumption was associated with a significant 68 percent reduction in CIMT progression compared to those consuming the placebo.
“This study also showed a significant increase in HDL (the good) cholesterol in participants consuming isolated soy protein,” said Krul.
The study has been published in the November 2011 issue of Stroke.