Subjects with elevated LDL cholesterol and metabolic syndrome benefit from supplementation with soy protein, phytosterols, hops rho iso-alpha acids, and Acacia nilotica proanthocyanidins

J Clin Lipidol. Jan-Feb 2010;4(1):59-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2009.11.002. Epub 2009 Dec 3.


Background: Metabolic syndrome is associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, a risk that is significantly increased when accompanied by elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Whereas lifestyle therapies are the initial intervention of choice for both of these risk factors, it has not been clearly determined that this approach is efficacious when they occur concomitantly.

Objective: To evaluate effects of supplementing a lifestyle program with a medical food and nutraceutical in individuals with metabolic syndrome and elevated LDL-C.

Methods: We conducted a subgroup analysis of a 12-week, randomized trial in adults with metabolic syndrome; data from those with LDL-C ≥ 160 mg/dL were analyzed. Control-arm subjects were instructed to consume a modified Mediterranean-style, low-glycemic-load diet (MED, n = 12). Treatment-arm subjects received a phytochemical-enhanced diet (PED, n = 12) consisting of the same low-glycemic-load diet plus a medical food containing soy protein and plant sterols and a nutraceutical containing hops rho iso-alpha acids and acacia proanthocyanidins. All subjects received identical aerobic exercise counseling.

Results: At 12 weeks, mean weight loss did not differ between arms. However, the PED arm exhibited greater improvement than the MED arm (P < .05) in total cholesterol, LDL-C, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), cholesterol/HDL-C, triglyceride/HDL-C, apolipoprotein (apo) B, apo B/apo A-1, homocysteine, total LDL particle number, and large HDL particle number. All individuals in the PED arm but only one third in the MED arm achieved LDL-C levels < 160 mg/dL.

Conclusion: Individuals at high CVD risk benefit from a soy/phytosterol containing medical food and phytochemical supplemented lifestyle program.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acacia
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humulus
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytosterols / administration & dosage
  • Phytotherapy
  • Proanthocyanidins / administration & dosage
  • Risk Factors
  • Soybean Proteins / administration & dosage


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipoproteins
  • Phytosterols
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Soybean Proteins