Abstract 3274: Soy Nuts are More Effective in Lowering Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Inflammation in Postmenopausal Women Who are Equol Producers, Regardless of Metabolic Syndrome Status
Background Metabolic syndrome (MetS) affects 30 – 60% of postmenopausal women. Lifestyle changes including nutrition constitute first-line interventions in MetS. We hypothesized that whole soy foods improve systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), lipids and inflammation in postmenopausal women with MetS, and that these effects are more pronounced in women who convert daidzein to its estrogenic metabolite, equol.
Methods Sixty healthy postmenopausal women were randomized in a crossover design to a TLC diet alone and a TLC diet in which 0.5 cups of soy nuts (25 g of soy protein and 101 mg of aglycone isoflavones) replaced 25 g of nonsoy protein daily for 8 weeks. MetS was defined by at least 3 of the modified National Cholesterol Education Program criteria: BMI ≥28.8 kg/m2; TG ≥150 mg/dL; HDL-C <50 mg/dL; BP ≥130/≥85 mmHg or fasting glucose ≥100 mg/dL.
Results At baseline, women with MetS had higher BMI, BP, TG and ICAM and lower HDL-C compared to women without MetS (Table 1⇓). Both groups had decreases in BP and CRP on the TLC diet plus soy nuts compared to TLC diet alone; however, only women with MetS had significant decreases in TG and ICAM-1 (Table 1⇓). When stratified by equol production in those with MetS, only equol producers had significantly lower DBP, TG, CRP and ICAM on soy nuts compared to TLC diet alone (Table 2⇓). In women without MetS, only equol producers had significantly lower DBP and CRP on soy (Table 2⇓).
Conclusions Reduction in cardiovascular risk with soy nuts is greater among equol producers regardless of MetS status, a finding supporting a role of equol in mediating beneficial effects. Mechanisms may involve improvement in inflammation as shown by lower levels of ICAM and CRP.