Nutri Pharma, Oslo, Norway, has released the results of a published placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind clinical study on the effects of UHT (ultra high temperature) processing of soy protein that was carried out in conjunction with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the University of Potsdam. The study, which took over 4 weeks and had 80 participants, found that soy protein products that have been UHT treated lose their ability to reduce serum cholesterol and can significantly increase the levels of harmful LDL cholesterol. This is important information, since most soy protein drinks, such as soymilks and soy protein beverages are UHT treated for longer shelf life.
The surprising result of this trial was an overall significant increase in LDL cholesterol of approximately 20%. This result was challenged by a follow-up trial using the same soy protein composition, but without UHT treatment. In this case, significant reductions in both LDL and total cholesterol demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of Nutri Pharma’s soy protein formulations in the absence of UHT treatment.
The conclusion drawn is that high temperature processing of soy protein products (in this case, UHT processing to more than 135 deg. C) destroys the cholesterol-lowering properties of the product.