Soy Protein More Effective than Animal Protein in Preventing Heart Disease in Animal Model

July 31, 2014

The key is to start eating soy products before menopause

Scientists have known for years that women are protected from cardiovascular disease before menopause, but their risk increases significantly  after menopause. Although estrogen is thought to be the protective factor, post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy remains controversial due to the side effects.

In an effort to find a safer and more effective therapeutic option, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center conducted an animal study to determine whether a high soy protein diet reduced the risk of coronary artery atherosclerosis, hardening and narrowing of the arteries, after menopause. The study is published in the current online edition of the journal Menopause.

“If started before menopause, we found that soy significantly prevents atherosclerosis, one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease,” said Giselle Meléndez, M.D., an instructor of cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.

“Soy-rich diets contain isoflavones, estrogen-like compounds that have been postulated to be cardioprotective. Their molecular structure resembles that of estrogen and may act through the same receptors in the body. The key here is beginning soy supplementation (about 25 g per day) before menopause and substitute the consumption of proteins derived from animal sources with soy-rich products.”

Read the entire news release issued by Menopause.

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Marguerite Beck:, 336-716-2415