Soy Protein Supplements

In October of 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave permission for companies to market soy protein supplements stating in their advertisements and on product packaging that soy protein may reduce the risk of heart disease. This is only the 11th time the FDA has allowed or endorsed a statement of this magnitude relating to a dietary supplement. The actual health claim endorsed by the FDA states: Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that includes 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. In order to use this claim, soy protein manufactured must ensure their products contain at least 6.25 grams of soy protein and must not be high in saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium.

The FDA's willingness to endorse the claim that soy protein may reduce the risk of heart disease is based on animal studies, clinical studies, and human studies that show that diets high in soy protein and low in animal protein lead to decrease levels of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides. However, the actual mechanism of the lipid-lowering effect of soy protein is still not fully understood.

Soy protein nutritional supplements have become very popular and many of these supplements also contain the soy isflavones genistin, daidzin and glycitin.

Soy protein may also have antiatherogenic, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, and antiosteoporotic activities.

Forms and Dosage

There are a number of different soy protein supplements available on the market today. Soy protein supplements usually contain soy isoflavones. A total daily intake of 25 to 50 grams of soy protein and 50 milligrams of soy isoflavones may have cardiovascular and other health benefits. This can come from your diet or from supplemental intake.