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Mount Sinai School Reports That Soy-Rich Diet Is 'Good News' as Choice Over Statin Side Effects

  [ 146 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • December 9, 2003

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A soy-rich diet offers good news to people with high cholesterol, according to New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

In the coming December issue of the publication Focus on Healthy Aging, Mount Sinai health experts report on a recent study on soy diets published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which is drawing widespread interest.

The study is "good news for people with high cholesterol who can't take statin drugs because of side effects or who would prefer to treat their condition without medication," the Mount Sinai publication said.

The "good news" is that tests comparing the soy-rich diet with statin
intake and also with a conventional low-fat diet found that the soy diet reduced cholesterol about the same as statins and much better than the low-fat diet.

The study, which involved 46 adults with high cholesterol and an average age of 59, considered three diet plans, all of which excluded meat. They were:

-- A very low-fat diet of cereals and dairy foods.

-- The low-fat diet including 20 milligrams daily of lovastatin, a
prescription medication.

-- The soy-rich "dietary portfolio" of foods known to help reduce
cholesterol, including soy protein, fiber, almonds and plant sterols.

The soy diet reduced LDL ('bad') cholesterol by 29 percent, about the same as the statin diet, which reduced cholesterol by 31 percent. The low-fat diet reduced cholesterol by only eight percent.

"Even if you aren't ready to adopt a low-fat vegetarian diet, increasing consumption of plant sterols, soyfoods and other components of the diets studied can help control your cholesterol," the Mount Sinai publication said.

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