Adding soy nuts to a healthy diet is an effective way of lowering blood pressure and LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol), according to a new US study in women.
Researchers recruited 60 middle-aged women, a fifth of whom had high blood pressure. The women followed one of two test diets for 8 weeks before switching to the second test diet. The diets, which were consumed in a random order, were (1) a balanced low fat, high carbohydrate diet containing two meals of oily fish per week; and (2) the same diet with 25g of the protein replaced with soy nuts.
The results showed that systolic and diastolic blood pressure reduced significantly in the majority of the subjects. In women with existing high blood pressure, the reductions were in the order of 7 to 10%, sufficient to be clinically important. Some women also experienced reductions in LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol).
The researchers attributed the dramatic results to isoflavones, plant nutrients known to have beneficial effects on the vascular system (circulation). Soy is one of the richest sources of isoflavones.
For more information, see
Welty FK et al (2007). Effect of Soy Nuts on Blood Pressure and Lipid Levels in Hypertensive, Prehypertensive, and Normotensive Postmenopausal Women. Archives of Internal Medicine. Vol 167, Pages 1060-1067.
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