Isoflavone-rich pasta effective to boost heart health – stud

Pasta, enriched with soy isoflavones in the aglycone form, can effectively reduce blood levels of total and LDL cholesterol by about eight per cent, new research from Italy has reported. The study, published in the October issue of the Journal of Nutrition, has implications for using soy isoflavones as functional ingredients for heart healthy foods, with the manufacturing process key to the natural enrichment of the pasta with isoflavone aglycons. During fermentation isoflavones change from the glucoside form to the aglycone form, said to be more bioavailable. A study by Yakult last year (The Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 136, pp. 2291-2296) stated that it made sense that aglycones are more bioavailable since they are smaller molecules and are more hydrophobic, and so do not dissolve as easily in water and thus rapidly excreted. “The aim of this study was to compare a novel soy germ pasta, naturally enriched in isoflavone aglycons as a result of the manufacturing process, with conventional pasta for effects on serum lipids and other cardiovascular risk markers.” After eight weeks, Clerici and co-workers report that blood levels of isoflavones were 222 nanomoles per litre. Consumption of the aglycone-enriched pasta led to reduction of total and LDL cholesterol levels in the blood of 7.3 and 8.6 per cent from baseline, respectively. These reductions were equivalent to reductions of 0.47 and 0.36 millimoles more than amongst people consuming conventional pasta. The soy pasta was also found to have benefits for arterial stiffness and C-reactive protein levels (CRP), a protein produced in the liver and is a known marker for inflammation. Increased levels of CRP are a good predictor for the onset of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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Source: NutraIngredients