Atherosclerosis: Soy-based Diet Appears To Protect Against Development Of Atherosclerosis

eNews from Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Soy-Based Diet Appears to Protect Against Development of Atherosclerosis in New Study

Drug Week -- March 21, 2008 -- -- "Soy-based diets reportedly protect against the development of atherosclerosis; however, the underlying mechanism(s) for this protection remains unknown (see also Atherosclerosis). In this report, the mechanism(s) contributing to the atheroprotective effects of a soy-based diet was addressed using the apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-/-) mice fed soy protein isolate (SPI) associated with or without phytochemicals (SPI+ and SPI-, respectively) or casein (CAS)," researchers in the United States report.

"Reduced atherosclerotic lesions were observed in aortic sinus and enface analyses of the descending aorta in SPI+- or SPI--fed apoE-/- mice compared with CAS-fed mice. SPI+-fed mice showed 20% fewer lesions compared with SPI--fed mice. Plasma lipid profiles did not differamong the 3 groups, suggesting alternative mechanism(s) could have contributed to the atheroprotective effect of soy-based diets. Real-time quantitative PCR analyses of proximal aorta showed reduced expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a monocyte chemokine, in mice fed both soy-based diets compared with the CAS-fed mice. These findings paralleled the reduced number of macrophages observed in the lesion site in the aorta of SPI+- or SPI--fed mice compared with CAS-fed mice. In an in vitro LPS-induced inflammation model, soy isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, and equol alone or in combination) dose dependently inhibited LPS-induced MCP-1 secretion by macrophages, suggesting a role for soy isoflavones for the protective in vivo effects," wrote S. Nagarajan and colleagues, University of Arkansas.

The researchers concluded: "Collectively, these findings suggest that the reduction in atherosclerotic lesions observed in mice fed the soy-based diet is mediated in part by inhibition of MCP-1 that could result in reduced monocyte migration, an early event during atherogenesis."

Nagarajan and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Nutrition (Dietary soy protein isolate ameliorates atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein e-deficient mice potentially by inhibiting monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression(1-3). Journal of Nutrition, 2008;138(2):332-337).

For additional information, contact S. Nagarajan, University of Arkansas, Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.

Publisher contact information for the Journal of Nutrition is: American Society Nutritional Science, 9650 Rockville Pike, RM L-2407A, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.

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