Regulation of cholesterol metabolism by bioactive components of soy proteins: Novel translational evidence

Giusy Rita Caponio, David Q.H. Wang, Agostino Di Ciaula, Maria De Angelis, Piero Portincasa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Hypercholesterolemia represents one key pathophysiological factor predisposing to in-creasing risk of developing cardiovascular disease worldwide. Controlling plasma cholesterol levels and other metabolic risk factors is of paramount importance to prevent the overall burden of disease emerging from cardiovascular-disease-related morbidity and mortality. Dietary cholesterol under-goes micellization and absorption in the small intestine, transport via blood, and uptake in the liver. An important amount of cholesterol originates from hepatic synthesis, and is secreted by the liver into bile together with bile acids (BA) and phospholipids, with all forming micelles and vesicles. In clinical medicine, dietary recommendations play a key role together with pharmacological interventions to counteract the adverse effects of chronic hypercholesterolemia. Bioactive compounds may also be part of initial dietary plans. Specifically, soybean contains proteins and peptides with biological activity on plasma cholesterol levels and this property makes soy proteins a functional food. Here, we discuss how soy proteins modulate lipid metabolism and reduce plasma cholesterol concentrations in humans, with potential outcomes in improving metabolic-and dyslipidemia-related conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number227
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cholesterol
  • Health
  • Proteins
  • Soybean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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