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LMU 128 – The Cholesterol-Reducing Powers of Soy Protein: A Melodic Symphony of Heart Health


LMU 128 – The Cholesterol-Reducing Powers of Soy Protein: A Melodic Symphony of Heart Health

Source: Journal of Nutrition (April 2019)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (May 8, 2019)


In the grand tapestry of health, dietary choices often take center stage. Among the diverse array of nutritional symphonies, one instrumental piece has gained renewed prominence—a study published in the esteemed Journal of Nutrition in April 2019. This study, akin to a melodic composition, unravels the harmonious relationship between soy protein and cholesterol levels, resonating with profound implications for heart health.

The Prelude: A Meta-Analysis of Promise

The symphony’s overture opens with a meta-analysis—an ensemble of 46 studies orchestrated by researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. The focus? The delicate interplay between soy intake and cholesterol levels. As the curtains rise, these researchers delve into a comprehensive review of the clinical landscape, seeking the crescendo of evidence that underscores soy’s potential in lowering the notorious “bad cholesterol” (LDL-cholesterol) and total blood cholesterol levels.

Resonating Harmonies: Soy’s Cholesterol-Reducing Cadence

In the realm of heart health, soy emerges as a virtuoso, serenading LDL-cholesterol levels with a symphony of reduction. As the research spotlight shines on 41 trials, the melody becomes clear—soy protein possesses the prowess to quell LDL-cholesterol, the cholesterol variant infamous for fostering arterial plaque buildup. A three to four percent reduction in LDL cholesterol emerges as a subtle yet significant transformation.

The Counterpoint: Soy as a Sublime Substitute

Yet, within this composition, an elegant counterpoint emerges. The allure of soy protein extends beyond its direct effects—it resides in its power to replace protein sources laden with saturated fats. Imagine the culinary tableau—a vibrant vegetable stir-fry infused with tofu, a veggie burger sizzling with possibility, or the embrace of textured vegetable protein in lieu of meat-based indulgences. In this elegant exchange, soy protein stands as a guardian of heart health, lowering LDL-cholesterol while thwarting the ascent of cholesterol-raising saturated fats found in meats.

The Refrain: A Cholesterol-Lowering Cadence

This chorus of soy’s potential is not confined to individual meals—it spans the melodic journey of a consistent dietary practice. As soy’s harmonies continue to resonate, the lead researcher, Dr. Jenkins, underscores the importance of this dietary cadence. He likens this harmony to the recently released Food Guide by Health Canada, a harmonious symphony that underscores the value of plant protein consumption.

Conclusion: Orchestrating Heart Health

As the final notes of this nutritional symphony fade into the realm of possibility, they linger with a poignant truth. The dietary choices we make are not mere culinary whims but powerful compositions that shape the harmonies of our health. The study’s revelation shines a spotlight on soy protein’s role as a virtuoso in the realm of cholesterol reduction, painting a lyrical picture of heart health and paving the way for plant-based melodies to resound in the dietary landscape.


Sonia Blanco Mejia, Mark Messina, Siying S Li, Effie Viguiliouk, Laura Chiavaroli, Tauseef A Khan, Korbua Srichaikul, Arash Mirrahimi, John L Sievenpiper, Penny Kris-Etherton, David J A Jenkins. A Meta-Analysis of 46 Studies Identified by the FDA Demonstrates that Soy Protein Decreases Circulating LDL and Total Cholesterol Concentrations in Adults. *The Journal of Nutrition*, 2019.

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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