Supplementation with soy isoflavones could improve blood vessel endothelial cell function and reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a new study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. Isoflavones supplementation has a valuable benefit on endothelial function.
“…exposure to soy isoflavones can modestly, but significantly, improve endothelial function” reported the researchers.
Soy foods have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, with recent evidence suggesting that isoflavones could reduce other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, such as blood pressure and endothelial function.
Endothelial dysfunction signifies the early stages of heart disease and is a predictive marker for long-term CVD and mortality.
Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery is used as an assessment tool for endothelial function. Impaired FMD response is a CVD risk factor and can precede clinically symptomatic CVD by many years.
The significant improvement in FMD observed in response to isolated isoflavone exposure is within the range deemed clinically relevant, “thereby indicating that exposure to isoflavone supplements may beneficially influence vascular health,” added the authors.
Researchers stated the key mechanism behind endothelial dysfunction involves the impaired release of nitric oxide (NO), causing blood vessels to constrict. Increased availability of isoflavone is suggested to increase NO production.
Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases Published online ahead of print