Whole Soy Flour Incorporated into a Muffin and Consumed at 2 Doses of Soy Protein Does Not Lower LDL Cholesterol in a Randomized, Double-Blind Controlled Trial of Hypercholesterolemic Adults1,2

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Abstract

Background:

Soy protein may reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) risk by lowering LDL cholesterol, but few studies have assessed whether whole soy flour displays a similar effect.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to assess the dose effect of whole soy flour incorporated into muffins on plasma LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic adults.

Methods:

Adults aged 30–70 y (n = 243) with elevated LDL cholesterol (≥3.0 and ≤5.0 mmol/L) were stratified by LDL cholesterol and randomly assigned to consume 2 soy muffins containing 25 g soy protein [high-dose soy (HDS)], 1 soy and 1 wheat muffin containing 12.5 g soy protein and 12.5 g whey protein [low-dose soy (LDS)], or 2 wheat muffins containing 25 g whey protein (control) daily for 6 wk while consuming a self-selected diet. Fasting blood samples were collected at weeks 0, 3, and 6 for analysis of plasma lipids [total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides (TGs)], glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP), and isoflavones. Blood pressures also were measured. Dietary intake was assessed at weeks 0 and 4 with the use of 3 d food records. Treatment effects were assessed with the use of intention-to-treat analysis with multiple imputation and LDL cholesterol as the primary outcome.

Results:

In total, 213 (87.6%) participants completed the trial. Participants were primarily Caucasian (83%) and mostly female (63%), with a mean ± SD body mass index (in kg/m2) of 28.0± 4.6 and systolic and diastolic blood pressures of 122 ± 16 and 77± 11 mm Hg, respectively. Despite a dose-dependent increase in plasma isoflavones (P < 0.001), neither HDS nor LDS had a significant effect on LDL cholesterol compared with control (mean ± SEM changes: control, -0.04 ± 0.05 mmol/L; HDS, 0.01± 0.05 mmol/L; and LDS, -0.04± 0.06 mmol/L). There were no significant treatment effects on total or HDL cholesterol, TGs, CRP, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, blood pressure, or the Framingham 10-y CHD risk score.

Conclusion:

Consuming 12.5 or 25 g protein from defatted soy flour incorporated into muffins does not reduce LDL cholesterol or other CHD risk factors in hypercholesterolemic adults. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01547585. J Nutr 2015;145:2665–74.

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