Altered lipid metabolism in rat offspring of dams fed a low-protein diet containing soy protein isolate

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Substantial studies have reported that maternal protein restriction may induce later development of cardiovascular disease in offspring by impairing antioxidant system and lipid metabolism. Because a unique amino acid composition of soy protein isolate has been shown to provide health benefits, including hypolipidemic effects, we investigated effects of maternal low-protein diet composed of low-isoflavone soy protein isolate (SPI) on oxidative stress and lipid metabolism in offspring.

Main methods:

Sprague-Dawley dams were fed 20% or 10% SPI diet throughout pregnancy and lactation. On postnatal day 21, male offspring and their dams were studied.

Key findings:

Maternal consumption of low-protein diet composed of SPI did not induce hepatic oxidative stress in offspring. Although serum triacylglycerol and cholesterol levels in dams were not different between groups, serum triacylglycerol levels were lower in offspring of dams fed a 10% SPI diet (10% SPI group) compared to offspring of dams fed a 20% SPI diet (20% SPI group). Maternal protein restriction also reduced serum HDL/total cholesterol levels. The mRNA levels of apolipoprotein A1, which is required for HDL formation, were lower in 10% SPI group compared to 20% SPI group and were positively correlated with serum HDL-cholesterol levels.


Although maternal consumption of low-protein diet containing SPI did not induce oxidative stress and hypertriglyceridemia, the present study indicates that it may disturb cholesterol metabolism of rat offspring on postnatal day 21. Further studies are warranted to investigate the effect of maternal diet composed of soy protein isolate on later development of cardiovascular disease in offspring.

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