Soy protein with isoflavones decreases plaque formation in male monkeys

December 15, 2005

The effects of soy isoflavones and Soy Protein on men and male laboratory animals has not been investigated deeply. In this study all male monkeys were placed on the same atherogenic diet - a diet that causes the build up of plaque in artery walls (hardening of the arteries). 30 of the monkeys were put on a control protein, 30 were placed on soy protein with 0.94mg of isoflavones per gram. 31 were placed on soy protein containing 1.88mg/g of isoflavones. All of the monkeys were placed on the protein long term (31 months). In both groups of monkeys consuming soy protein with isoflavones the LDL-cholesterol was reduced and the HDL was increased. Also the Apolipoprotein A-1 (Apo A1) was increased. Apo A1 is a very important component of the beneficial HDL and Apo A1 is largely responsible for preventing the early stages of hardening of the arteries and preventing the accumulation of plaque deposits on artery walls. Apo A1 improves the ability of HDL to scoop up LDL cholesterol and clear it out of the blood stream and it is a marker for the cholesterol clearing capacity of the blood. The average plaque size in the coronary arteries was reduced by 34% on the soy protein plus isoflavones supplements; these are the arteries that supply the heart with blood. The research was performed at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C. and at The Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Honolulu, and is published in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the journal of the American Society for Nutrition.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

At the start of this study the impact of the supplements Green Tea Extract and CLA were not even thought of yet - studies show these both impact weight.

Lemon balm reduces stress, induces calmness and improves mental function

Lemon balm is used as a mild sedative or calming agent and recent research shows that it improves mood under stress. In this randomized, placebo-controlled, cross over study healthy volunteers received a single high-potency standardized extract of lemon balm, a moderate potency standardized extract, or placebo, all separated by 7 days and given in a random order. It was found that the high potency extract ameliorated the stressful effects induced by the researchers and it improved calmness significantly but also decreased alertness. The moderate serving size was very beneficial and improved the speed of mathematical processing significantly with no decrease in accuracy. The research was performed at the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, University of Northumbria, UK and is published in the July-August 2004 issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.