Interesting research paper comparing the effects of soy milk and low fat (1%) dairy milk on plasma lipids.
Low and moderate-fat plant sterol fortified soymilk in modulation of plasma lipids and cholesterol kinetics in subjects with normal to high cholesterol concentrations: report on two randomized crossover studies.
Although consumption of various plant sterol (PS)-enriched beverages is effective in lowering plasma cholesterol, the lipid-lowering potential of PS in a soymilk format has not been investigated thoroughly. Therefore, to evaluate the efficacy of PS-enriched soy beverages on plasma lipids and cholesterol kinetics, we conducted two separate 28 d dietary controlled cross-over studies. In study 1, the cholesterol-lowering efficacy of a low-fat (2 g/serving) PS enriched soy beverage was examined in 33 normal cholesterolemic subjects in comparison with 1% dairy milk. In study 2, we investigated the efficacy of a moderate-fat (3.5 g/serving) PS-enriched soy beverage on plasma cholesterol concentrations and cholesterol kinetic responses in 23 hypercholesterolemic subjects compared with 1% dairy milk. Both the low and moderate-fat PS-enriched soymilk varieties provided 1.95 g PS/d. Endpoint plasma variables were analyzed by repeated-measures ANOVA using baseline values as covariates for plasma lipid measurements.
In comparison with the 1% dairy milk control, the low-fat soy beverage reduced (P < 0.05) total and LDL-cholesterol by 10 and 13%, respectively. Consumption of the moderate-fat PS-enriched soy beverage reduced (P < 0.05) plasma total and LDL-cholesterol by 12 and 15% respectively. Fasting triglycerides were reduced by 9.4% following consumption of the moderate-fat soy beverage in comparison with the 1% dairy milk. Both low and moderate-fat PS-enriched soy varieties reduced (P < 0.05) LDL:HDL and TC:HDL ratios compared with the 1% dairy milk control. Consumption of the moderate-fat PS-enriched soymilk reduced (P < 0.05) cholesterol absorption by 27%, but did not alter cholesterol synthesis in comparison with 1% dairy milk.
We conclude that, compared to 1% dairy milk, consumption of low and moderate-fat PS-enriched soy beverages represents an effective dietary strategy to reduce circulating lipid concentrations in normal to hypercholesterolemic individuals by reducing intestinal cholesterol absorption.
See also - Plant sterols/stanols as cholesterol lowering agents: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.