Title

SOY PROTEIN, THYROID REGULATION AND CHOLESTEROL-METABOLISM

Authors

WA FORSYTHE

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-1995

Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Abstract

The effects of dietary protein on plasma cholesterol concentrations are well documented: animal proteins (casein) are hypercholesterolemic compared with plant proteins (soy protein). Although this effect of protein source on plasma cholesterol has been shown in many species, the mechanism is not completely understood. This paper reviews the relationship between dietary protein source and plasma thyroxine concentration. The basic premise is that feeding soy protein lowers plasma cholesterol concentration by causing an increase in plasma thyroxine concentrations. The metabolic changes involving cholesterol that occur when soy protein is fed are discussed. These changes are consistent with changes induced by elevating thyroxine. Data are presented from animal studies showing that feeding soy protein to laboratory animals consistently elevates plasma thyroxine concentrations. Furthermore, this elevation in plasma thyroxine concentrations precedes the change in plasma cholesterol concentrations: a necessary requirement for hypothesizing a causative effect. Possible mechanisms as to how a dietary protein source affects plasma thyroxine are also presented.

Publication Title

JOURNAL OF NUTRITION

Volume

125

Issue

3

First Page

S619

Last Page

S623