Effect of soy and milk protein supplementation on serum lipid levels: a randomized controlled trial.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr; 66(4):419-25.EJ
Previous clinical trials have documented that soy protein reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol compared with milk protein. However, the effect of soy protein on lipids compared with carbohydrate has not been not well studied. We examined the effect of soy and milk protein supplementation on lipids and lipoproteins compared with carbohydrate among adults without hypercholesterolemia.
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, 3-phase crossover trial among 352 US adults with serum total cholesterol level of <240 mg/dl from September 2003 to April 2008. Trial participants were assigned to 40 g/day supplementation of soy protein, milk protein or complex carbohydrate from wheat each for 8 weeks in random order with a 3-week washout period between interventions. Overnight fasting blood samples were collected at the termination of each intervention phase.
Compared with carbohydrate, soy protein supplementation was significantly associated with a net change (95% confidence interval (CI)) in total cholesterol and total/HDL cholesterol ratio of -3.97 mg/dl (-7.63 to -0.31, P=0.03) and -0.12 (-0.23 to -0.01, P=0.03), respectively. Compared with milk protein, soy protein supplementation was significantly associated with a net change (95% CI) in HDL and total/HDL cholesterol ratio of 1.54 mg/dl (0.63 to 2.44, P=0.0009) and -0.14 (-0.22 to -0.05, P=0.001), respectively. Compared with carbohydrate, milk protein supplementation was significantly associated with a net change (95% CI) in HDL of -1.13 mg/dl (-2.05 to -0.22, P=0.02).
This randomized controlled trial indicates that soy protein, but not milk protein, supplementation improves the lipid profile among healthy individuals.