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Health News Archive 356 - Lipid Levels
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Soy and Kudzu Phytoestrogens Improve Lipid Profile

Scientists conducting two studies on the lipid activities of soy, and kudzu found phytoestrogens from both plants improved lipid profile, including total cholesterol and certain lipoprotein ratios. The results were published in the May 2006 issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry

In the initial study, researchers from The Chinese University of Hong Kong randomly divided ovariectomized hamsters into four groups of different treatment administrations: control, drug estrogen, soy or kudzu (30 mg/kg bodyweight). The hamsters given phytoestrogens from either soy or kudzu exhibited significantly decreased serum total cholesterol (TC), with no effect on the ratio of high density lipoprotein (HDL) to non-HDL (TC minus HDL).

In a separate, but related study, the researchers divided male hamsters into four groups, one group receiving a sham operation, and three groups receiving castration surgeries; of the castrated groups, one was given a placebo, while the other two received either soy or kudzu phytoestrogen extracts (30 mg/kg bodyweight). Soy, but not kudzu, phytoestrogen administration significantly decreased serum total cholesterol, however the kudzu phytoestrogen supplementation caused redistribution of cholesterol among lipoproteins, which decreased the ratio of HDL to non-HDL.

The researchers concluded both trials showed phytoestrogens from soy and kudzu favorably modify lipoprotein profiles in ovariectomized and castrated hamsters.

Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry Jun 2006 (54, 13:4907-12, 2006)

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