Cholesterol lowering effect of a soy drink enriched with plant sterols in a French population with moderate hypercholesterolemia

Christina Weidner, Michel Krempf, Jean-Marie Bard, Murielle Cazaubiel and Doris Bell


Plant sterols are an established non-pharmacological means to reduce total and LDL blood cholesterol concentrations and are therefore recommended for cholesterol management by worldwide-renown health care institutions. Their efficacy has been proven in many types of foods with the majority of trials conducted in spreads or dairy products. As an alternative to dairy products, soy based foods are common throughout the world. Yet, there is little evidence supporting the efficacy of plant sterols in soy-based foods. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a soy drink enriched with plant sterols on blood lipid profiles in moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects.


In a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind mono-centric study, 50 subjects were assigned to 200 ml of soy drink either enriched with 2.6 g plant sterol esters (1.6 g/d free plant sterol equivalents) or without plant sterols (control) for 8 weeks. Subjects were instructed to maintain stable diet pattern and physical activity. Plasma concentrations of lipids were measured at initial visit, after 4 weeks and after 8 weeks. The primary measurement was the change in LDL cholesterol (LDL-C). Secondary measurements were changes in total cholesterol (TC), non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDL-C), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides.


Regular consumption of the soy drink enriched with plant sterols for 8 weeks significantly reduced LDL- C by 0.29 mmol/l or 7% compared to baseline (p < 0.05). Total cholesterol and non-HDL-C concentrations decreased by 0.26 mmol/l and 0.31 mmol/l (each p < 0.05), respectively. Mean reductions in total, LDL and non-HDL cholesterol were significantly greater than in the placebo group (p < 0.05). HDL-C and triglycerides were not affected. Compliance was very high (>96%), and products were well tolerated.


Daily consumption of a plant sterol-enriched soy drink significantly decreased total, non-HDL and LDL cholesterol and is therefore an interesting and convenient aid in managing mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia.


Christina Weidner1 email, Michel Krempf2 email, Jean-Marie Bard3 email, Murielle Cazaubiel4 email and Doris Bell1 email

1Cognis GmbH, Monheim, Germany. 2CHU Hôtel Dieu, Endocrinology Dept., Nantes, France. 3Pharmacy Faculty, Nantes, France. 4Biofortis, Nantes, France

author email corresponding author email

Lipids in Health and Disease 2008, 7:35doi:10.1186/1476-511X-7-35. Full article:

© 2008 Weidner et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Similar Content