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HCM Heart Disease May Worsen with a Soy Diet or Supplements Products

January 4th 2006

HCM Heart Disease May Worsen with a Soy Diet or Supplements Products

HCM Heart Disease

Soy products may worsen a specific heart disease condition, according to researchers at the University of Colorado.  Heart muscles in people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are considerably thicker than those without the disease.  In this study mice that carried the gene mutation associated with HCM disease were subjected to different diets. 

The researchers were amazed at the impact diet had on heart function. When the male mice were taken off the soy diets their heart function significantly improved compared to the mice that continued on the diet.  Female mice with HCM did not show any significant change.

Males are more affected by HCM disease than females. The effects to the male mice might have been exceptional because females already had large amounts of estrogen in their bodies. There are estrogen compounds found in soy products. 

 

The mice that improved were switched from the soy milk to regular milk.  This led the team to believe that the heart deterioration in the male mice was due, at least in part, to plant-based estrogens.  The soy diet triggered a cascade of biochemical reactions and ultimately increased apoptosis. Apoptosis is a way cells are programmed to die. 

This disease is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in people under the age of 30.  It affects 1 in 500 people although milder forms of the disease often go undiagnosed.  CU-Boulder Professor Leslie Leinwand said “Male mice carrying the mutation for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, were severely affected by the soy diet, exhibiting progressively enlarged heart muscles and eventual heart failure”.

Leinwand said that normal healthy people should not be alarmed by the news but “we are seeing more cautionary reactions from the medical community in recent years regarding the ingestion of huge quantities of dietary supplements, including soy phytoestrogens."  Soy supplements are a $4.7 billion industry. 

So far, 18 genes associated with HCM have been identified and several more are being investigated, she said. "To our knowledge this is the first report of significant differences in cardiac muscle adaptation due to dietary manipulation," the researchers wrote in JCI.
Currently, the main treatment for end-stage HCM is a heart transplant, she said. The CU-Boulder study was funded by a grant from the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.

 
Dr. Leinwand went on to say "This study shows that at least in mice, diet can have a more profound effect on heart disease than any drug that we could imagine.”  The investigation appears in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

 

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM