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A novel soy-based meal replacement formula for weight loss among obese individuals: a randomized controlled clinical trial


Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of a low calorie soy-based meal replacement program for the treatment of obesity.

Design: A 12-week prospective randomized controlled clinical trial.

Setting: Outpatient weight control research unit.

Subjects: One hundred obese (28<BMI≤41 kg/m2) volunteers between the ages of 35 and 65 y. Seventy-four participants completed the trial.

Interventions: Participants were randomized to either the meal replacement treatment group (n=50; 240 g/day, 1200 kcal/day) or control group (n=50). Both groups at baseline received a single dietary counseling session and a pamphlet describing weight loss practices.

Main outcome measures: Weight, body fat, serum lipid concentrations.

Results: By intent-to-treat analysis, the treatment group lost significantly more weight than the control group (7.00 vs 2.90 kg; P<0.001) and had a greater change in total (22.5 vs 6.8 mg/dl; P=0.013) and LDL cholesterol (21.2 vs 7.1 mg/dl; P<0.009). Among completers only, the treatment group again lost more weight (7.1 kg; n=37 vs 2.9 kg; n=37; P=0.0001) and had a greater reduction in total cholesterol (26.1 mg/dl; n=37 vs 6.7 mg/dl; P=0.0012) and a greater change in LDL cholesterol (21.6 vs 5.5 mg/dl; P=0.0025). (For any given degree of weight loss, the reduction in LDL cholesterol was significantly greater in the treatment group.) Treatment was well tolerated and no serious side effects were detected.

Conclusions: Use of this soy-based meal replacement formula was effective in lowering body weight, fat mass and in reducing LDL cholesterol beyond what could be expected given the weight lost.

Sponsorship: This research was funded by Nutripharma. Dr Allison is a member of the United Soybean Board's Scientific Advisory Panel and Chair of the Research Grants Committee.

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Guarantor: DB Allison.

Contributors: DBA was involved in the design, oversight, analysis, and the drafting of the manuscript. GG assisted in the data analysis and the drafting of the manuscript. LGS and RM were involved in the execution of the study and data interpretation. JLK conducted preliminary data analysis and assisted in the drafting of the manuscript. KRF assisted with manuscript preparation, the interpretation of the data, and editing. SH and SBH were involved in the design and oversight of the study, as well as editing drafts of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to D B Allison.

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Allison, D., Gadbury, G., Schwartz, L. et al. A novel soy-based meal replacement formula for weight loss among obese individuals: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 57, 514–522 (2003).

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  • obesity
  • soy
  • randomized controlled clinical trial
  • cholesterol

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