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The American Heart Associations REVISED Statement on SOY

AHA revises statement on soy protein Benefits “minimal at best” Jan 20, 2006 Shelley Wood

Dallas, TX – Five years after it released a scientific advisory recommending the inclusion of soy-protein foods in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, the American Heart Association has issued a revised statement, going back on its earlier advice.

“The direct cardiovascular health benefit of soy protein or isoflavone supplements is minimal at best,” the new advisory states. “[U]se of isoflavone supplements in food or pills is not recommended.”
The new statement was published January 17, 2006 this week as a rapid access paper in Circulation online [1].

For their analysis, the writing committee, led by Dr Frank M Sacks (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA), examined 22 randomized trials comparing the effects of isolated soy protein with isoflavones with milk or other proteins. They report that while soy products seemed to reduce LDL cholesterol, the effect was trivial (around 3%) and only in people who ate a lot of soy protein—roughly half their daily protein intake. No effects of soy protein were seen on HDL, triglycerides, lipoprotein (a), or blood pressure. In 19 of 22 studies, the effect on all lipid parameters was nil.

The recommendation for physicians, Sacks told heartwire, is to tell their patients “not to use isoflavone supplements, since they are ineffective. Soy protein is not much better than other proteins for cardiovascular health. A large amount lowers LDL a little bit and does not affect the other CV lipids and other risk factors.”

Soy effects for other diseases: Mixed or nil

The statement authors also point out that studies examining soy’s effects on postmenopausal bone loss have been mixed and have failed to show a clear benefit of soy for vasomotor symptoms of menopause (hot flashes) or prevention of breast, endometrium, and prostate cancer. People should look at the nutrient content of anything they buy.

Of note, the statement distinguishes between isoflavone supplements and soy-based foods, since foods that are high in soy may have some cardiovascular benefits. Unlike animal-based proteins, soy-based foods such as tofu, soy butter, soy nuts, and some soy burgers typically contain polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but low amounts of saturated fat, the authors note. In some settings, they say, replacing proteins high in saturated fats with soy-based protein might translate into cardiovascular benefits.

(Professor’s Note: Saturated fat is NOT dangerous or in any way unhealthy because there is no saturated fat in arterial clogs and this was analyzed and published in Lancet back in 1994! Read my landmark book The Hidden Story of Cancer for the full story of LDL Cholesterol! ALL Natural fats, whether they be cheese, cream, butter or the fat on meat, are healthy and needed for good health. The dangerous fats are transfats and artificial fats.)

But as with other fad foods of the past decade, it’s important to read the labels, Sacks points out. “People should look at the nutrient content of anything they buy. Some of the soy products are quite good but others may not be. . . . If the soy protein is in a product that has low salt, no trans fat, and low saturated fat and has other healthy ingredients like polyunsaturated fats and fiber that are in soybeans, then the food would be good for CV health,” he said.

(Professor’s Note: My more than decade long studies in health and science has shown, and proven that eating lots of vegetables and fiber are NOT healthy and don’t provide nutrition or any benefit to protect you from disease. On the contrary, too much fiber can actually lead to the development of colon cancer! Read my landmark book The Hidden Story of Cancer for the full story!)

[emphases added]

Source: Sacks FM, Lichtenstein A, Van Horn L, et al. Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health. A statement for professionals from the American Heart Association nutrition committee. Circulation 2006; DOI: 10.1161/. Available at: http://www.circulationaha.org.

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