August 26, 2002
UTRECHT, The Netherlands--In research published in the August edition of the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (22:1316-22, 2002) (atvb.ahajournals.org), women with increased dietary isoflavone and lignan intake may experience a decreased risk for atherosclerosis and arterial degeneration.
Researchers, including lead author Yvonne T. van der Schouw, Ph.D., from the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, reviewed food-frequency questionnaires from 403 menopausal women. After noting isoflavone and lignan intake for each woman, they assessed aortic stiffness through pulse-wave velocity measurements.
After adjustments for age, body mass index, smoking, physical activity, mean arterial pressure, follow-up time, energy intake, dietary fiber intake, glucose and high density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol, van der Schouw et al reported that an increased dietary intake of isoflavones and lignans proved beneficial. "The results of our study support the view that phytoestrogens have a protective effect on the risk of atherosclerosis and arterial degeneration through an effect on arterial walls," the authors concluded, "especially among older women."
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