Reviewed here are the modes of action of soy components used as ingredients in foods, which can lower plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and cholesterol, which are markers for the risk for atherosclerosis. Soy ingredients act via more than one mode of action including the following: LDL absorption suppression, cholesterol efflux stimulation, LDL resorption stimulation, LDL oxidation prevention, LDL particle size increase, cholesterol synthesis reduction, and bile secretion increase. Individual genetics, lifestyle, and nutrition habits alter LDL management and a better understanding of the various modes of actions of soy ingredients may facilitate the composition of effective ingredient cocktails. The optimization of food components offers further alternatives to LDL management to augment drug therapy for patients who are unable to reach their target LDL cholesterol levels or who are suffering from side effects or drug insensitivity.

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