Meta-Analysis Links Non-Soy Legume Diet to Improved Cholesterol

February 3, 2011

While soy typically takes up cholesterol research in the legume family, researchers at Tulane University and Arizona State University devised a meta-analysis evaluating non-soy legume consumption and any effect those foods may have had blood lipids.

A meta-analysis in the February 2011 issue of Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases reinforces the potential for non-soy legumes and cholesterol management.

While soy typically takes up cholesterol research in the legume family, researchers at Tulane University (New Orleans) and Arizona State University devised a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials evaluating non-soy legume consumption and any effect those foods may have had blood lipids.

Using MEDLINE and the Cochrane Collaboration’s Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials, the researchers gathered 10 randomized clinical trials evaluating non-soy legume diet versus control for a minimum three week’s duration with reported blood lipid changes.

With data from a combined 268 participants in the trials, the research team determined that, compared to placebo, legume diets provided significant reductions of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Total cholesterol was reduced by an average 11.6 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol (commonly known as “bad” cholesterol) was reduced by an average 8 mg/dL.

The study abstract on legumes and cholesterol management can be viewed at the journal Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases.