Effect of soy on metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors: a randomized controlled trial
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Cardiovascular diseases are currently the commonest cause of death worldwide. Different strategies for their primary prevention have been planned, taking into account the main known risk factors, which include an atherogenic lipid profile and visceral fat excess.
The study was designed as a randomized, parallel, single-center study with a nutritional intervention duration of 12 weeks. Whole soy foods corresponding to 30 g/day soy protein were given in substitution of animal foods containing the same protein amount.
Soy nutritional intervention resulted in a reduction in the number of MetS features in 13/26 subjects. Moreover, in the soy group we observed a significant improvement of median percentage changes for body weight (−1.5 %) and BMI (−1.5 %), as well as for atherogenic lipid markers, namely TC (−4.85 %), LDL-C (−5.25 %), non-HDL-C (−7.14 %) and apoB (−14.8 %). Since the majority of the studied variables were strongly correlated, three factors were identified which explained the majority (52 %) of the total variance in the whole data set. Among them, factor 1, which loaded lipid and adipose variables, explained the 22 % of total variance, showing a statistically significant difference between treatment arms (p = 0.002).
The inclusion of whole soy foods (corresponding to 30 g/day protein) in a lipid-lowering diet significantly improved a relevant set of biomarkers associated with cardiovascular risk.
KeywordsSoy protein Lipids Metabolic syndrome and obesity
Body mass index
Bioelectrical impedance analysis
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein
Diastolic blood pressure
Fasting plasma glucose
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
Homeostatic model assessment
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9
Systolic blood pressure
Soluble intercellular adhesion molecular 1
Visceral fat rating
This study has been supported by an unrestricted grant to Centro Dislipidemie (A.S.S.T. Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Milano, Italy) from the Alpro Foundation (Gent, Belgium). The founding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to publish the results.
MR wrote the paper and performed ELISA experiments; PM wrote the paper and coordinated the study; AA, LC and CS conceived the study and critically revised the manuscript; CP selected the patients and acted as clinical monitor; SG performed all the statistical analyses; BM and CM performed biochemical analysis; MG and CV performed analysis on HDL; GA performed isoflavones analysis; and RB was the dietician. All authors reviewed the results and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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