Recent evidence suggests that individuals with high concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, are less responsive to cholesterol-lowering diets. CRP concentrations are increased by oral estrogen; however, the effect of soy phytoestrogens on inflammation has not been studied comprehensively, especially in women receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This study was conducted to determine whether adding soy to a low-fat, high-fiber diet affects CRP and interleukin (IL)-6, and to examine the association between CRP levels and lipid response in moderately hypercholesterolemic adults (men = 18, postmenopausal women = 14; 6 receiving HRT). After a 3-wk run-in period with consumption of a Step I diet (27% total fat, 7% saturated fat, 275 mg cholesterol), participants were randomly assigned to diets containing 25 g/d soy protein (+ 90 mg/d isoflavones) or 25 g/d milk protein for 6 wk in a crossover design. Lipids and lipoproteins, CRP, and IL-6 were measured at the end of each diet and participants were categorized into high (>3.5 mg/L) or low CRP groups based on a median split. The addition of soy or milk protein to the Step I diet did not affect lipids or inflammatory markers. Regardless of protein source, those with low CRP exhibited significant decreases in LDL cholesterol (-3.5%) and the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio (-4.8%), whereas those with high CRP had significant increases in LDL cholesterol (+4.8%), the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio (+5.2%), apolipoprotein B (+3.8%), and lipoprotein(a) (+13.5%) compared with the run-in diet. These results suggest that inflammation may not only attenuate lipid responses, but also aggravate dyslipidemia in hypercholesterolemic subjects consuming a cholesterol-lowering diet.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics