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Volume 47, Number 1, February 2014

Effect of probiotic-fermented, genetically modified soy milk on hypercholesterolemia in hamsters 

Tsung-Yu Tsai, Li-Ying Chen, Tzu-Ming Pan

Received: February 15, 2012    Revised: March 20, 2012    Accepted: May 14, 2012   


Corresponding author:

Tzu-Ming Pan, Department of Biochemical Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Corresponding Author InformationCorresponding author. Number 1, Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei City, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

The rapid progress of biotechnology and molecular biology has led to genetically modified (GM) crops becoming a part of agricultural production. There are concerns that the issues of the functional ingredients in GM products have not been addressed, such as the bioactivities of soy proteins and isoflavones. This study aimed to investigate the effects of probiotic-fermented GM soy milk on hypercholesterolemia, and atherosclerotic risks in hamsters. 



One hundred and twelve male Golden Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) were randomly assigned into 14 groups of 8 animals each. Normal- and high-cholesterol experimental diets were supplemented with GM or non-GM soy milk with or without probiotic-fermentation for 8 weeks. Serum and fecal lipid levels were measured. Moreover, aortic plaque in artery were stained, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance content, super oxide dismutase activity and caralase activity were determined. 



GM or non-GM soy milk with or without probiotic-fermentation significantly decreased (p < 0.05) serum TC levels, compared with a high-cholesterol diet group. TC levels in hamsters fed GM soy milk were not significantly different from TC levels in the non-GM soy milk group (p > 0.05). GM soy milk groups can reduce risk of developing atherosclerosis through lowered oxidative stress and reduced atherosclerotic plaque formation in the aorta, and are thus at least equivalent to non-GM soy milk. 



GM soy milk with or without probiotic-fermentation can improve hypercholesterolemia and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, and is considered substantially equivalent to non-GM soy milk in terms of these bioactive functions. 


Key words:

Atherosclerosis, Genetically modified, Hypercholesterolemia, Probiotic-fermentation, Soy milk