The Los Angeles Times (7/18, Stein) “Booster Shots” blog reported that, according to a study published online in Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association, “soy and milk protein supplements may be associated with lower blood pressure more than refined carbohydrate supplements.”
For a two-month period, researchers randomized 352 “people with mild hypertension or higher-than-normal blood pressure on three separate regimens of daily supplements containing soy protein, milk protein, and complex carbohydrates,” CNN /Health.com (7/18, Harding) explained. “The carbohydrate supplement — which contained largely refined carbohydrates — had no measurable effect on blood pressure, but when the participants took the soy and milk protein supplements, their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) dropped by about two points, on average.”
MedPage Today (7/18, Neale) reported, “During the study, there were no differences based on the supplement taken in intake of total energy, fat, saturated fat, sodium, potassium, and calcium.” Interestingly, “HDL cholesterol level was significantly higher with soy protein than with the other two supplements (P=0.03), but body weight, fasting plasma glucose, and other lipid parameters were consistent between the three supplements.”
According to HealthDay (7/18, Doheny), “While the reduction in blood pressure was small, study leader Dr. Jiang He, chairman of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, said the benefits could translate to reduced numbers of strokes and other cardiovascular problems in the population as a whole.” The study authors suggested that “replacing some refined carbohydrates — such as white bread and white rice — in your diet with soy or milk protein ‘might be an important component of nutrition intervention strategies for the prevention and treatment of hypertension.'” WebMD (7/18, Boyles) and HeartWire (7/18, Nainggolan) also covered the story.