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This Natural Combo May Help You Reduce Cholesterol

A link between cholesterol levels and consumption of either prebiotics or soy protein alone has never been established. However, a recent study found that taking the two together may be an effective, natural way to lower cholesterol.

This recent study on prebiotics and soy protein was conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto and published in the February 2010 issue of the journal Metabolism.

For the study, the Canadian researchers recruited 23 people with an average age of 58. The participants were placed on the following dietary interventions on a rotating basis:

1. A soy food-containing diet that included 30 grams per day of soy protein and 61 milligrams per day of isoflavones, plus maltodextrin (a placebo).
2. The soy food diet plus the prebiotic.
3. A low-fat dairy diet plus the prebiotic.

Two weeks separated each dietary intervention and all of the participants completed all three stages.

The researchers found that the soy-prebiotic combination resulted in the largest reduction in overall LDL (bad) cholesterol. The combination also appeared to increase blood levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

This study furthers the science backing soy's potential for lowering cholesterol, when taken in combination with a prebiotic.

Prebiotics help your body produce good bacteria called probiotics and serve as food for the friendly bacteria. Maintaining a healthy level of good bacteria plays a crucial role in digestive health and immune system function and can also help control the growth of disease-causing bad bacteria.

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