Epidemiological studies have suggested many potential health benefits of consumption of soy foods. Earlier studies in animals and humans have also suggested that dietary soy protein containing isoflavones have beneficial effects on blood pressure and lipid parameters. Recently, there is growing interest into the effects of soy isoflavones against endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, and myocardial ischemic reperfusion (I/R) injury. Soy isoflavones exert antiatherosclerotic effects through diverse mechanisms including reversal of endothelial dysfunction, decreasing inflammatory biomarkers, and providing antioxidant action. Soy isoflavones have also been reported to have beneficial effects on I/R injury in animal models. It is noteworthy that clinical studies involving dietary products and dietary supplements are fraught with multiple complexity and confounding factors. Therefore, it is deem necessary to understand the effects of pure isolated active constituents of dietary supplement to extrapolate the cardioprotective or deleterious effects of high consumption soy as dietary supplements. This review will focus on discussing the latest research on the cardioprotective effects of soy isoflavones and their underlying molecular mechanisms. A rigorous assessment of the effects of pure isolated soy isoflavones in well-controlled human trials will be required for better understanding of the effects of soy isoflavones in cardiovascular health.
Keywords: Soy isoflavones, genistein, daidzein, atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, ischemia-reperfusion, Epidemiological studies, soy protein, isoflavones, lipid parameters
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