Soy: Cholesterol Reduction

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.


For years, studies have shown that soy lowers total cholesterol levels including LDL (bad) cholesterol, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Some even document improvements in the width of the arteries. Anderson1

This may be due to soy’s antioxidant properties, which could prevent LDL cholesterol from clogging the arteries. Jenkins2 The data has been so overwhelming that even the FDA issued a recommendation—they advise consuming 25 gm of soy protein per day to prevent heart disease.

Recently, a study was conducted using meal replacement shakes and nutrition bars, both soy- and milk-based. After six weeks, researchers noted a decrease of 15.2 percent in total cholesterol and 17.4 percent LDL cholesterol, as well as a significant decrease in triglycerides. Stats for those using milk-based meal replacements were 7.9 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, with no drop in triglyceride levels. Anderson3

Please note that it’s unlikely that these improvements could occur after taking cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins for six weeks. And these are poor alternatives to begin with, because they rob the heart of important enzymes.


  1. Anderson, J.J., et. al., 1999. Health potential of soy isoflavones for menopausal women, Public Health Nutr, Dec;2(4):489-504.
  2. Jenkins, D.J, et. al., 2002. Effects of high- and low-isoflavone soyfoods on blood lipids, oxidized LDL, homocysteine, and blood pressure in hyperlipidemic men and women. Am J Clin Nutr, Aug;76(2):365-72.
  3. Anderson, J.W., Hoie, L.H., 2005. Weight loss and lipid changes with low-energy diets: comparator study of milk-based versus soy-based liquid meal replacement interventions. J Am Coll Nutr, Jun;24(3):210-6.
Last Updated: October 26, 2006

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


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  1. Carolyn f Powell
    5 years ago

    Dr. Northrup, do you still believe that soy is beneficial to take? I am hearing alot of negative information concerning soy.

  2. Sheree P Gilkey
    6 years ago

    Soy milk made me very sick. It actually worsened my menopause symptoms. Soy ruined eight years of my life and caused exaggerated menopausal symptoms. Do your homework, people!

  3. Navab
    6 years ago

    My wife was taking soya flour for five months but she cames to know about soya is bad . It lncrease the endrogen Harmon level of woman . She has some hairs on her chin . She is now scared to take soya. She wants to know is soya really imbalanced her harmons . If not then how much soya flour she could be taken per day. She lives in India .

  4. nancy m.
    16 years ago

    Thank you Elizabeth for writing EAT, LOVE, and PRAY…..the one thing that I will hold dear from reading this book, is that women can be brave, strong, loving, funny, and enjoy life.

    I am hoping that this book will be made into a movie. Men might not grab this book and read it like millions of females, but I believe wives and sweethearts would encourage them to go to the movie. It would open their eyes to what we are capable of in this big world we live in.

    My minister gave a sermon on this book. I was not in church that particular Sunday, and I was very disappointed that I missed what she had to say.

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