The effects of dietary soy protein isolate (SPI), ethanol-extracted SPI (E-SPI) low in isoflavones, and fish protein (FP) on the concentration of blood lipids and the susceptibility of low density lipoprotein (LDL) to copper-induced oxidation were compared in male golden Syrian hamsters fed a moderate hypercholesterolemic semi-purified diet for 10 weeks. SPI, E-SPI, and FP were incorporated into the isonitrogenous experimental diets as protein sources. The SPI group exhibited significantly lower serum total cholesterol concentration compared with the E-SPI group (P < 0.05) and the FP group (P < 0.01). Both the SPI and E-SPI groups showed lower LDL cholesterol (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively) and less LDL apolipoprotein B (P < 0.01) compared with the FP group. The distribution pattern of serum lipoprotein cholesterol fractions of the SPI and E-SPI groups were similar to each other, but different from that of the FP group. The lysine/arginine ratio of the three diets was significantly correlated with serum total cholesterol concentration (r = 0.462, P = 0.023). The resistance of LDL to copper-induced oxidation was greater in the SPI group than in the E-SPI and FP groups as assessed by the lower concentrations of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and the longer lag time required for the formation of conjugated dienes (P < 0.01). Livers of hamsters fed the FP diet had a higher amount of TBARS than those of hamsters fed SPI (P < 0.01) and E-SPI (P < 0.05) diets. The SPI diet showed sparing effects on α-tocopherol contents in both serum and liver. It seems likely that soy isoflavones protect the circulating and membrane lipids by sparing α-tocopherol and endogenous antioxidants. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
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